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Harford murder suspect Brandon Wovas held without bail

Maj. William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff's Office is shown talking to members of the media about the arrest of Brandon Allen Wovas of Aberdeen in connection with the Dec. 21 strangulation death of Lauren Michelle Walls of Street. Wovas is being held in jail on no bail.
Maj. William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff's Office is shown talking to members of the media about the arrest of Brandon Allen Wovas of Aberdeen in connection with the Dec. 21 strangulation death of Lauren Michelle Walls of Street. Wovas is being held in jail on no bail. (David Anderson/The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

An Aberdeen man charged with killing a Street woman last week will remain in jail, after Harford County District Court Judge David Carey ordered Tuesday that the suspect continue be held without bail.

Brandon Allen Wovas, 25, was arrested last Thursday after allegedly confessing to Harford County Sheriff’s Office investigators that he had killed 34-year-old Lauren Michelle Walls, whose body was found in Susquehanna State Park.

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He had been held in the Harford County Detention Center through Christmas on no bail.

Wovas appeared before Carey via video link from the jail Tuesday for his bail review hearing in District Court in Bel Air.

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The Harford County Sheriff's Office says it has charged Brandon Allen Wovas with murder in connection with the death of a Street woman whose body was found Thursday in Susquehanna State Park.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office says it has charged Brandon Allen Wovas with murder in connection with the death of a Street woman whose body was found Thursday in Susquehanna State Park. (Harford County Sheriff's Office)

Wovas has been charged with first-degree murder, which Carey said carries a sentence of life in prison, along with second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault and altering physical evidence in a criminal proceeding.

Wovas said little as he sat against the corner of a cinder block room in the jail.

His public defender, Marcus Jenkins, said Wovas has completed high school, works at Bob’s Discount Furniture and has some history of mental illness.

Jenkins asked Carey to “consider setting a reasonable bail.”

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Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Allen told the judge that “a murder by strangulation” had been committed and that Wovas had confessed to the crime twice.

Allen explained later that Wovas confessed of his own accord during initial conversations with detectives and reiterated his statement during a formal interrogation following the reading of his Miranda rights.

Police first investigated Walls’ passing as a “suspicious death” after her body was found covered with a blanket in a parking lot in Susquehanna State Park last Thursday morning. The Sheriff’s Office investigators only knew at the time that Wovas was the last person who had seen or talked with her.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating as a homicide the death of a woman whose body was found Thursday morning in Susquehanna State Park north of Havre de Grace.

He and Walls had an “intimate relationship,” Maj. William Davis, of the Sheriff’s Office, said during a news conference Friday. The cause of death has been listed as asphyxiation, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Davis said.

Investigators learned, following the discovery of Walls’ body, that she left her residence around 4 p.m. last Wednesday, according to a statement of charges filed by DFC David Skica of the Sheriff’s Office.

Walls and her mother argued before she left; Walls said she was going to stay at a motel in Aberdeen with her friend “Brandon.” Police subsequently identified the the friend as Brandon Wovas, the suspect, according to charging documents.

Walls was driving a blue 2012 Chevrolet Cruze when she left her home and was wearing the same sweatshirt found at the parking lot where he body was found, according to charging documents.

The final communication between mother and daughter — by phone — was at 8:14 p.m. Wednesday, although Walls used her phone until around 11 p.m. that night, according to charging documents.

Walls’ mother tried to call her Thursday morning, but the calls went “unanswered,” charging documents state.

Cell phone records led detectives to a room at the Studio 6 hotel in the 400 block of Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen, where Wovas was staying, according to charging documents.

Investigators conducted surveillance on the room. Wovas returned at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, driving Walls’ vehicle. Police detained him as he later tried to leave the room, according to charging documents.

“During this detention, the suspect made unsolicited statements to those members [of the Sheriff’s Office] that amounted to a confession regarding his perpetration of the murder of Lauren Walls,” charging documents state.

Wovas agreed, voluntarily, to speak with detectives regarding their investigation. He told them, during a formal interview at the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, how he committed the “premeditated murder” of Walls while in her vehicle as it was parked in Susquehanna State Park, according to the statement of charges.

Wovas told police he used his hands and later his belt to strangle Walls. He then pulled her body out of the vehicle and left her in the spot where she was found, according to charging documents.

He then left the scene and threw the victim’s cell phone and other pieces of physical evidence away along Route 40 in the Aberdeen and Havre de Grace areas, according to the statement of charges.

“It’s a death by strangulation of an intimate partner,” Carey said at the conclusion of the bail review hearing. “The defendant will be held without bail.”



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