Man ar­rested in model home mur­der

Po­lice: 18-year-old from Jes­sup faces homi­cide charges in ‘rob­bery gone wrong’

The Capital - - FRONT PAGE - By Phil Davis [email protected]

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.”

Ryan Homes has de­clined to com­ment on the in­ci­dent.

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.

Wil­son

County Po­lice Chief Tim­o­thy Al­tomare talks Fri­day about ar­rest­ing Dil­lon Ni­cholas Au­gusty­niak, 18, of Jes­sup, in the mur­der of Steve Bernard Wil­son, 33, of An­napo­lis.

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