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Columbia man sentenced to life in prison for murdering woman in May 2019

A 24-year-old Columbia man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for murder, according to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County.

Wilson Orellana-Lemus pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court last month to the first-degree murder of 36-year-old Amanda Nicole Harris, according to a state’s attorney’s office news release.

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On May 5, 2019, Howard County police officers discovered Harris’ body in the living room of the Columbia apartment in the 8800 block of Spiral Cut she shared with her boyfriend, William James Webb, after a welfare check was requested by members of her family.

Webb was found in the master bedroom with injuries that were the result of blunt force trauma, police said. Webb, 44, survived the assault.

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Police said they used cigarette packaging at the scene and Webb’s cellphone found in a nearby dumpster to arrive at Orellana-Lemus as a suspect.

According to police, Orellana-Lemus entered the apartment through an unsecured window and assaulted both residents before stealing Harris’ jewelry and Webb’s cellphone.

“As horrific as this crime was, what was even more disturbing is that it was a random attack on two innocent people,” State’s Attorney Rich Gibson said in a statement. “While I know this life sentence will not bring Amanda Harris back, I do hope it provides some peace of mind to her family that this type of heinous behavior will not be tolerated in Howard County and that the defendant, Wilson Orellana-Lemus, will spend the foreseeable future behind bars for his reprehensible actions.”

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