A 37-year-old Florida man who met a Cockeysville woman through the Internet was found guilty Friday of stabbing her to death on Thanksgiving Day 2008, less than two months after moving in with her.
Rex N. Wesley's first-degree murder conviction came after a three-day trial in Baltimore County Circuit Court and less than an hourlong deliberation by a jury.
Prosecutor Stephen R. Roscher said Wesley was discovered standing over the body of Donna Jean Brown, 31, in the kitchen of her father's house in Randallstown, her body and head slashed and pierced by "scores" of wounds.
"She died during the six-minute helicopter ride" to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Roscher said by phone after Wesley's conviction. "She basically had too much blood loss. The photographs of her hands were shocking. She'd tried to defend herself, and she had stab wounds right through her hands."
When he took the stand Thursday, Wesley said he did not remember killing Brown. He testified to drinking heavily at a Thanksgiving dinner in Howard County with some of the woman's relatives. The couple then stopped by her father's house.
"He claimed that he got so intoxicated that he suffered a blackout and remembers nothing of the crime itself," Roscher said.
Wesley had only recently moved to Maryland from Florida to be with Brown after corresponding with her on the Internet, and they set up house together in Cockeysville.
Roscher and his fellow prosecutor, Christina Cuomo, plan to ask Judge Timothy J. Martin to sentence Wesley to life without parole. A sentencing date has not been set.