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WCI inmate convicted of killing cellmate

May 5th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

 Allegany County State's Attorney Michael O. Twigg announced  Thursday that Darnell Thompson was convicted by an Allegany County jury of Second Degree Murder for the death of Jason Wallace.  The trial was held before the Honorable Jeffrey S. Getty on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  The jury reached the verdict Wednesday after approximately an hour of deliberation.  Judge Getty ordered a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing will be held on a date in the future.  Mr. Thompson was accused of murdering his cellmate, Jason Wallace, in the Western Correctional Institute on September 13, 2013.  Mr. Wallace was found unresponsive in his cell after Mr. Thompson left to attend to an unexpected appointment.  Correctional Officers, were advised by other inmates that Mr. Wallace was having trouble breathing.  Officers immediately responded to the cell and found Mr. Wallace in a pool of blood, with severe head injuries.  Correctional Officers then secured Mr. Thompson and recovered critical DNA evidence from his person.  Mr. Wallace was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Hospital in Cumberland and was pronounced dead.  An autopsy by the Office of the State Medical Examiner was ruled a homicide and it was determined that Mr. Wallace had several fractures of his skull and died of blunt force trauma to the head. 

Mr. Thompson was indicted by the Grand Jury of Allegany County in October 2013.  The case was investigated by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, the Internal Investigative Unit of the Department of Public Safety, and the Maryland State Police Crime Scene Technicians and Forensic Scientists.  The trial was delayed due to a mental evaluation of Mr. Thompson.  The case was prosecuted by Frederick H. Voss of the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office.  Mr. Thompson discharged his counsel and chose to represent himself.

Mr. Thompson remains incarcerated in the North Branch Correctional Institution, serving a life-sentence for a murder in Prince George’s County, Maryland from the early 1990’s.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Allegany County is responsible for prosecuting all crimes occurring within both the Western Correctional Institution and the North Branch Correctional Institution.  This is the third murder to be prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office for Allegany County in 2016.  Mr. Twigg wishes to thank all Correctional Officers involved in this matter for their professionalism and prompt assessment of the situation.


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