William Gary Roland, 57, of the 1500 block of Galixie Drive in Street, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Timothy S. Hammons, 48, during an altercation with the couple on the evening of Jan. 7 at Mr. Hammons' home in the 200 block of Craigtown Road in Port Deposit.
He also pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of his estranged wife, Eileen L. Roland, 56, of Edgewood.
On the murder and attempted counts, he was sentenced to 50 years in jail with all but 50 years suspended, to be served concurrently, according to Cecil County State's Attorney Edward Rollins III, who said Roland will have to serve at least 25 of the 50 years before he is even eligible for parole, which he said Roland won't get the first time around.
"In all likelihood, he'll have to serve 30 of the 50 years," Rollins said Wednesday. "As far as I'm concerned, if he makes it to 88 [years old] and they release him, that might be more punishment than leaving him in jail. He'll have no family, no place to go."
Rollins agreed to the plea that would include a sentence that would "put him away for the rest of his life," he said.
"I'm not sure what his motivation was [in accepting the plea]. If it was to spare his family and victim the trauma of a trial, good for him," Rollins said, but the bottom line is he's going to be in jail for a long time. Roland's case had been scheduled for trail later this summer.
Eileen Roland and the family of Mr. Hammons agreed to the plea and subsequent sentence, Rollins said.
Roland spoke at the sentencing hearing Tuesday, but Rollins said "in my opinion, it was fairly lame and pathetic."
"His kids basically disowned him," Rollins said.
Roland's older daughter, Amy Hurst, of Havre de Grace, said she destroyed her pictures of him and said he was no longer part of her life, while his son, Chad Roland, said Roland would "always be his father, but never be his dad," Rollins said.
"It was pretty brutal," he said.
Gary Roland, as he is known, was an employee of the Harford County Department of Public Works. He tried unsuccessfully to kill himself after shooting Mr. Hammons and Eileen Roland, according to Maryland State Police who investigated the crime.