FREDERICK – This morning in Frederick County Circuit Court, Hestina Lakeisha Harris, 24, of Jefferson, MD entered a guilty plea to 1st degree murder. Judge Scott Rolle sentenced Harris to life, suspending all but 60 years to serve. As part of the plea agreement, the State maintains the right to veto any modification of the sentence. Harris must serve 5 years of supervised probation upon release, with all standard conditions. “This has been a delicate situation where the victim’s family is also the family of the defendant. Quite frankly, we just haven’t seen eye to eye. Our obligation to the community always prevails, which is why we were not willing to go below the 60 year sentence,” stated State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. “Deputy State’s Attorney Kirsten Brown and Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Pearl worked very hard to gain a conviction in the first trial, and short of this substantial sentence, were willing to do so again,” Smith stated further.
On December 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm, the Frederick County Emergency Communication Center began receiving 911 calls regarding a stabbing in the 5400 block of Burkittsville Rd., Burkittsville, MD. Police and EMS were dispatched to the home.
The victim, Lillie Marie Morris, age 67, was discovered in the front yard of her home. A passing motorist saw Ms. Morris lying face down on the lawn attempting to lift herself off the ground. The
motorist turned around in her vehicle and parked in the Morris driveway. She honked her horn in an attempt to get the attention of someone in the home believing at first it was a medical emergency. She exited her car and attempted to call 911 as she approached the victim, Ms. Morris. The defendant, Hestina Harris, then exited from the home yelling in what the witness described as a “growl”. The motorist advised her to go inside and call 911. Witnesses stated that at no time did Harris render aid to the victim.
Lillie Morris was pronounced deceased by EMS personnel on scene, and her body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore where the manner of death was determined to be homicide. The cause of death was sharp force injuries to several of her major organs.