SEVERN, Md. (WJZ) -- Former Army Sergeant Maliek Kearney has been sentenced to life without parole Friday for the 2015 murder of his wife in Anne Arundel County.
Kearney showed no remorse and little emotion as a judge sentenced him to life in federal prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his wife, Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, a soldier stationed at Fort Meade.
"My pain would likely give him a level of satisfaction. He doesn't deserve to walk among us. He's a cold, callous, calculating sociopath," said Susan Ramirez, the victim's mother. "I implore Your Honor not to release this monster."
Kearney left their infant daughter in his wife Karlyn Ramirez's arms after killing her inside her townhome in Severn, Maryland. He and his mistress methodically plotted Ramirez's murder, officials said.
Sergeant Kearney was working at Fort Jackson in South Carolina at the time. He instructed Delgado to meticulously track her gas mileage then buy him gas cans so he would not have to stop for fuel. He took back roads so he would not risk being tracked.
Kearney drove seven hours to Severn, shot his wife three times at close range, then drove immediately back to South Carolina.
He staged the scene at his wife's townhouse to look like a sexual assault and left their four-month-old daughter in her arms unharmed.
"It makes you sick," Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare said. "I don't know how a human being could leave his own child. The baby could have died. It was a monstrous act."
Ramirez's mother choked back tears as she told Judge George Russell III that Kearney saw "little value in human life" and urged him not to show mercy. "Keep this man away from society. He has no respect for women. He's a user and an abuser."
She recounted how Kearney came to her daughter's funeral and stared at the coffin, telling her, "For all we know, the killer is among us."
"My body shuddered," Ramirez recalled.
At trial, prosecutors laid out Kearney's elaborate plot to kill his wife in 2015 after only one month of marriage. He enlisted the help of his mistress Dolores Delgado, using her car and gun.
Ramirez' family said, as they were leaving court Friday, that justice has been served. Ramirez was shot three times at close range.
Chief Altomare praised the work of his department and federal investigators who pieced together the chilling plot. "It was a legendary bit of investigative work at every angle," he said.
Judge Russell tacked on an additional 10 years to Kearney's sentence because a gun was used in the crime.
He remarked that the case was so severe, the sentencing level guidelines for Kearney were "off the charts."
The judge said the sergeant was "dangerous, predatory" and needed mental health treatment.
He questioned why Ramirez never turned around during that seven-hour drive instead of committing the heinous act. "The killing was without mercy. You shot her at close range. Three times the bullets went inside her. You could have stopped that," the judge said.
Kearney addressed the court with little emotion, yet reading so fast the clerk told him he needed to slow down.
"There is no moment that I don't miss Karlyn. The love that I have for her grows stronger as each day passes," he said.
Judge Russell told him pointedly, "I don't believe you."
Kearney also had a message for his five children. "Daddy loves you," he said. "I'm sorry I haven't been able to be there for the past two years because of these proceedings."
Kearney's lawyer Teresa Whalen told the judge, "We're all complicated." She insisted her client had "redeeming qualities."
She spoke of his service to the country—including tours of duty in the Middle East and more than 30 awards from the military.
She also noted his PTSD and his abusive childhood.
"Let him still have a glimmer of hope that he will do more than simply be warehoused," Whalen said.
She declined to comment to WJZ following sentencing.
The judge said it is unlikely Kearney will ever get out of federal prison.
He also ordered him to pay $492,000 in restitution to the victim's family.
U.S. Attorney Robert Hur reacted to the sentence Friday.
"I am very, very grateful that we were able to so justice in this case and that Mr. Kearney will be punished for his heinous crimes and of course we're very glad for the result and our hearts remain heavy we're obviously continuing to think of the victims in this case," Hur said.
Kearney drove more than seven hours from South Carolina to Maryland, using his mistress' car and gas cans so he would not be detected at gas stations.
He shot and killed his wife, then went back to South Carolina.
The judge called him "dangerous,""predatory" and "a monster" when he sentenced Kearney.
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