Cumberland Times-News

January 17, 2013

NBCI inmate charged with killing cellmate

Victim in September incident was strangled

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— CRESAPTOWN — A North Branch Correctional Institution inmate is facing a first-degree murder charge in the strangulation of his cellmate who was found dead in his cell in September.

Wesley Curtis, 28, was indicted this week by an Allegany County grand jury for the slaying of 28-year-old Charles Richardson IV at NBCI.

Richardson was found in his cell Sept. 27. He had been serving a life sentence for two murders in Columbia in 2007.

Curtis was sentenced to 50 years in 2009 for attempted second-degree murder and a handgun violation in Prince George’s County. He had 20 years added to his sentence in 2011 for a first-degree assault in prison.

Richardson was pronounced dead at about 5 a.m. after correctional officers observed an inmate outside his cell on a tier and in possession of clothing that appeared to be blood-stained. Officers entered the cell and found Richardson lying under a blanket. Officers observed that Richardson had suffered head trauma.

Correctional officers provided emergency care prior to the arrival of paramedics from the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Company, who pronounced Richardson dead at the scene.

The incident was investigated by Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigative Unit.

The investigation included an autopsy by the Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office and processing of the crime scene by state police crime scene technicians.