Jessup man charged with murder in Hanover model home homicide

Phil Davis
Contact Reporterpdavis@capgaznews.com

Police have charged an 18-year-old man with first-degree murder in the death of an Annapolis man inside a model home, saying he shot him to death during a robbery Wednesday.

Dillon Nicholas Augustyniak, of Jessup, shot Steve Bernard Wilson, 33, while Wilson was working for Ryan Homes out of the model home in Hanover, police wrote in charging documents.

In a news conference Friday, police Chief Timothy Altomare characterized Wilson’s death as a robbery gone wrong.

In charging documents, police wrote a man could be heard on a 911 call asking, “Where is the money?” and “Who are you talking to?” Investigators believe Wilson was able to dial 911 before he died.

“I think impulse met opportunity in this instance,” Altomare said. “While I won’t say that real estate agents shouldn’t be vigilant and concerned … for their safety, I think we have no indication that there is a particular threat to the industry at this time.”

In charging documents, police wrote Augustyniak stole Wilson’s cellphone and laptop, valued at about $2,000. Investigators believe he tried to sell the gun he used to murder the Annapolis resident.

Augustyniak faces charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, theft between $1,500 and $25,000, and use of a firearm during a violent crime.

While Altomare said Wilson’s death was indicative of a fatal robbery, he added there were elements of the case that make police believe Augustyniak’s actions were premeditated.

Police were first alerted to the scene when someone called 911 around 5 p.m. Wednesday from 7552 Newmanstown Dr. in Hanover, where Wilson was working as a sales representative for Ryan Homes.

There was no voice on the other line, police wrote, but someone “was breathing heavily and sounded to be in distress.”

As the dispatcher attempted to ask questions, charging documents state another voice came from the background, asking “Where is the money?” and “Who are you talking to?”

When police arrived at the scene, they found Wilson unresponsive and, after medics attempted to render aid, pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police wrote in charging documents video surveillance showed Augustyniak “armed with a long gun.” Spokeswoman Sgt. Jackie Davis said Augustyniak lived within walking distance to the Ryan Homes development where Wilson was working.

After Augustyniak was established as a suspect through video surveillance and witness interviews, police wrote other witnesses told investigators he gave Wilson’s phone to someone else and was attempting to sell a firearm “the same caliber that was used to commit the homicide.”

Police searched Augustyniak’s residence Thursday, charging documents state, and found a firearm “consistent with the type of firearm used in the homicide.”

Altomare and newly elected County Executive Steuart Pittman emphasized the impact witnesses had on the investigation.

After officers canvassed the surrounding area to no avail, Altomare said a number of witnesses were instrumental in developing Augustyniak as a suspect.

“We would not have gotten this done in 31 hours without you,” Altomare said.

“It’s absolutely essential that the community and the police department work together,” Pittman said.

In a statement, Wilson’s brother-in-law, Leland Sampson, said the family was made aware of the arrest and thanked the community for their support during the investigation.

“We are incredibly grateful for the efforts of investigators who have (tirelessly) worked non-stop to find the person who killed Steven Wilson,” Sampson wrote in an email.

He also pointed to a GoFundMe page made in Wilson’s memory to assist the two children Wilson leaves behind.

No attorney is listed as representing Augustyniak in court records. He is being held without bail prior to a bail review hearing on Monday.

As the department announced Augustyniak’s arrest, the chief also used the news conference as an opportunity to highlight six unsolved homicide cases.

Altomare highlighted the deaths of Lawrence Aaron III, Jose Funes, Dantae Simmons, Jasmine Adams, Prateek Kumar and Quenton Boykin, all of whom were found dead in apparent homicides this year.

No one has been arrested in any of their deaths and Altomare used their ongoing investigations, with Aaron’s dating to the beginning of the year, to somewhat temper any celebration of Augustyniak’s arrest.

“We need people to talk to us in these other six cases. You just might have the puzzle piece we need to bring justice to another family,” he said.

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