Woman convicted in Lothian double-murder

Baltimore Sun Media Group

A 43-year-old woman was convicted Wednesday of killing her husband and a woman last fall in Lothian. Ann Marie Anastasi entered Alford pleas in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree murder and a related gun charge, according to online court records. The plea allows a defendant to maintain innocence while conceding the state has enough evidence to convict. A sentencing hearing is set for March 15. Heather Epkins, a spokeswoman for the county State's Attorney's Office, and Assistant Public Defender Michele Vignola, Anastasi's attorney, each declined comment.

The charges stem from the October 2015 killings of Anthony Anastasi, 40, and Jacquline Riggs, 25. Anthony Anastasi was found dead in his Lothian home and Riggs was found dead in the basement, where she lived. Police said Ann Anastasi reported her husband had committed suicide -- a .45-caliber handgun was found next to him and a .380-caliber shell casing was found nearby. A medical examiner later determined Anastasi's cause of death was a gunshot wound. Officials said the cause of death for Riggs – who police described as an "associate" of the family romantically involved with the Anastasis -- was cut/stab wounds. Prosecutors alleged Ann Anastasi conspired with an 18-year-old, Gabriel Ezekiel Struss, and another person, 13, to commit the murders. Struss, now 19, pleaded guilty in June to two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy and gun charges. He is slated to be sentenced Feb. 14, according to online records. The 13-year-old was charged as a juvenile, and information on that case was not immediately available.

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