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New Windsor man pleads guilty to second-degree murder, state to seek 30-year sentence

Nicholas W. Dolly
Nicholas W. Dolly (Carroll County Sheriff's Office)

A New Windsor man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife’s grandmother Monday in Carroll County Circuit Court.

Nicholas W. Dolly, 24, of the 1400 block of Greenwood Church Road, was charged March 30 and criminally indicted April 25 for second-degree murder and first-degree assault, online court records show. Forgoing a jury trial previously scheduled to start Tuesday, Dolly appeared before Judge Fred S. Hecker on Monday.

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The state is seeking a sentence of 30 years for the murder charge and, as part of the plea deal, will not pursue the assault charge, senior assistant state’s attorney Courtney Colonese said in court. Dolly’s sentencing is scheduled for March 18. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years, according to state sentencing guidelines.

Teresa Drury, 55, of New Windsor, died May 16, 2018 from multiple blunt force trauma injuries at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Colonese said, citing a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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Dolly and his wife Harley N. Keller, 29, lived in a split-level home with Keller’s grandfather and his wife, Drury. On May 12, 2018, deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office went to the residence for a medical emergency call and Drury was taken to Carroll Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Colonese read from a statement of facts in court.

Dolly was not there when police arrived, and authorities were told Drury injured herself from a fall in the shower, Colonese read. A nurse informed police that Drury’s injuries were not consistent with that allegation, which was confirmed by the chief medical examiner’s office, according to Colonese. Drury suffered injuries to her ribs, kidney, and had bruising on her arms, legs, pelvic area, and face, Colonese read.

Keller pleaded guilty Oct. 17 to being an accessory after the fact to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years with all but 18 months of incarceration suspended, online court records indicate. Prosecutors estimated then that the investigation was stalled by 321 days by Keller not disclosing to police what had happened to Drury.

She told police different versions of what occurred, but eventually said Dolly, who is listed as 6-feet tall and 280 pounds according to electronic court records, struck Drury in the head with a 2-by-4 board and stomped on her, Colonese said.

Dolly told police during an interview, “I was in a blackout rage,” admitted to hitting Drury with a board, and said he had “remorse” for what he did, Colonese read from the statement.

On March 29, 2019, Keller reported Drury’s husband missing. He had gone to a neighbor’s house for help after Dolly told him he “would kill him like he killed his wife,” Colonese said. The man used the neighbor’s phone to call a relative to pick him up and take him to their home, asking the relative not to tell Keller and Dolly where he was, according to Colonese.

Dolly did not speak during the plea hearing Monday other than to answer questions from his attorney and the judge to confirm he understood his rights and decision to move forward with the plea of his own free will.

Dolly’s attorney, Lyle Stalter, declined to comment after the plea hearing. Colonese and Allan Culver, assistant state’s attorney for Carroll County, also declined to comment.

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