EDGEWOOD, MD – A woman convicted of brutally beating a 71-year-old man from Edgewood has been sentenced for his murder. Harford County prosecutors stated that the woman used a crowbar to inflict fatal blows to the victim’s skull.
On February 18, 2022, the Harford County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at 2310 Perry Ave. in Edgewood after the victim’s daughter found his body in his home. It was reported that the victim’s 2003 Ford Explorer was missing from the property, and family members had been unable to contact him for days.
An autopsy revealed that the victim had suffered blunt force trauma, including multiple skull fractures and defensive wounds to his hands and arms. The murder weapon, a crowbar, was found in the victim’s home and was identified by detectives. The prosecutors also stated that the suspect, Ashley Pearl Zentz, had known the victim and his family for over 20 years.
Following a six-day trial, the state prosecution requested a life sentence, suspended all but 72 years, for the charge of first-degree murder, along with an additional five years for the theft of the victim’s motor vehicle. Zentz was sentenced on December 18 to life in prison, with all but 60 years suspended, for the murder charge, and an additional five years for the vehicle theft, to be served consecutively.
State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey commended the victim’s daughter for her courage during the sentencing and expressed hope that the sentence would provide some closure to the victim’s family. The significant sentence, she said, eliminates a violent murderer from the community and ensures justice for the victim.