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Maryland Man ‘Heinously’ Raped Woman For Hours During Home Invasion That Ended In Her Fiery Murder: Prosecutor

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Source: Wicomico County State’s Attorney; UNSPLASH

Apr. 11 2023, Updated 10:13 a.m. ET

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A Maryland man will spend the rest of his life in prison for taking a woman’s life in “the most brutal way possible”, the State’s Attorney’s Office said.

Judge S. James Sarbanes handed former Delmar resident Kenneth Evans a life sentence without the possibility of parole, plus 72 years, in connection with the murder of Helen Riggins nearly two years ago, the Salisbury Daily Times reported.

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Early in the morning on May 21, 2021, Evans was accused of breaking into Riggins’ home in Salisbury, where he “heinously offended her over the course of hours", the Office of the State's Attorney for Wicomico County said.

He then bound, strangled, raped and murder the victim before dousing her body and home in gasoline and lighting them on fire before fleeing.

In October 2021, violent sexual predator Evans was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree rape, home invasion, robbery, and first-degree arson, according to the State’s Attorney said.

Judge Sarbanes said at sentencing that the incident “constituted the worst case” he has seen in his nearly 10 years on the bench, the State’s Attorney’s Office said.


"Judge Sarbanes drew sharp distinctions between the life led by the Defendant and the life that he took,” Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes said in a statement, WBOC reported. “ Judge Sarbanes contrasted the compassion and generosity that the victim displayed to so many with the demonstrated lack of respect and refusal to take responsibility of the Defendant.”

“This horrific crime was solved by the community and the collaboration of many law enforcement agencies,” Dykes continued, adding, “I am grateful to every citizen and law enforcement agency that participated in solving this case and assisted in our efforts to hold Kenneth Evans accountable. Because of this collaboration, our community is a safer place.”


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