Delgado, 33, of Texas, had pleaded guilty to the federal crime of crossing state lines to commit domestic violence resulting in a death. She testified last month as a government witness in the case against the soldier, Sgt. Maliek Kearney, 37.
Kearney was accused of shooting his wife and staging her death to look like a sexual assault. Jurors found him guilty last month, and he could be sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 30.
The judge and attorneys spoke of Kearney’s deepening influence and control over Delgado nearly a decade before his wife was killed.
Police found Karlyn Ramirez, 24, shot to death in the bedroom of her Severn townhouse in August 2015. A solider at Fort Meade, she had married Kearney the month before her death. Officers found the couple’s infant daughter unharmed beside her body.
During the trial, Delgado described her long affair with Kearney, which continued after his marriage.
She told jurors she and Kearney went to elaborate lengths to plan his wife’s killing. She said she tracked her mileage to help Kearney determine how much gas he would need to drive from his home in 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.
“I take my grandbaby every year to Karlyn’s grave,” Susanna Ramirez said, sobbing. “She wants to know why mommy’s with Jesus. … I can’t explain to a 3-year-old that her dad killed her, and his girlfriend helped him.”
Delgado told the judge she was sorry.
Turn around, Russell ordered her; face the grieving family in the back.
“You look at them,” he said. “I want you to feel that pain. If you’re sincere about your apology, you look at them. You tell them.”
Delgado turned. Tears ran down her face. Haltingly, she began.