Dolores Delgado hardly slept that night, she said. Before dawn, she heard a knock.
Army Sgt. Maliek Kearney had returned, she said. But he was wearing different clothes than when he left with her car and revolver, she said.
“He was nervous … standing up, kind of pacing. He had his hands on his head,” Delgado told a federal courtroom in Baltimore Wednesday. “He said that he couldn’t believe that he just left her laying there.”
Delgado testified as a government witness in the case against Kearney, 37, a decorated soldier accused of killing his wife three years ago in Anne Arundel County.
Delgado, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, has pleaded guilty to the federal crime of crossing state lines to commit domestic violence resulting in a death. She could be sentenced to life in prison.
Police found Karlyn Ramirez shot to death inside her Severn townhome in August 2015.
Ramirez, a 24-year-old Army private, was stationed at Fort Meade. Police found her infant daughter asleep beside her body.
Federal prosecutors say her marriage to Kearney had worsened in the weeks before her death. Both had been unfaithful, prosecutors say. They say Ramirez tried to leave Kearney, and he plotted to kill her.
“If he couldn’t have her, then no one was going to have her,” Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warwick told jurors Monday.
Kearney’s defense attorneys have blamed Delgado for the killing. They showed jurors a Facebook post in which they said Delgado wrote “The crazy b---- is going to be put out.”
The defense attorneys are expected to question Delgado Thursday.
During hours of testimony Wednesday, Delgado told jurors of events that she said led to Ramirez’s death. She described a long affair with Kearney, which she said began before he married Ramirez and continued afterward.
Kearney was stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Delgado said she visited him there in August 2015, and he told her he planned to travel to Maryland.
“He was planning to come up and kill his wife if she didn’t reconcile with him,” Delgado told the jury.
Delgado said she and Kearney went to elaborate lengths to plan the killing. She told jurors she tracked her mileage to help Kearney determine how much gas he would need to drive from South Carolina to Maryland. She bought two 5-gallon gas cans from Home Depot, she said, so he wouldn’t risk being seen at a gas station.
Delgado said she lent him her Nissan Altima, which was less conspicuous than his Jaguar. She stayed in his apartment with his cellphone. She said she sent two text messages from his phone while he was gone to establish an alibi.
Still, Delgado told the jury that she thought Kearney would make up with his wife, not kill her.
“I believed there was some chance of Karlyn seeing Mr. Kearney and working things out,” she said. “I told him that he wasn’t going to do anything … that everything would be fine.”
She said she watched Netflix, went through Kearney’s cellphone, and hardly slept while he was gone.