A teen pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder of a 92-year-old District Heights woman, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney announced.
In August 2011, police arrived at the home of the victim, Thelma Steele (pictured below), after neighbors noticed mail piling up. They noted forced entry into the home and found Steele dead on her couch with multiple stab wounds.
Police quickly developed William Roger Fitts as a suspect.
Fitts, then 15, lived across the street from the victim. He admitted to stabbing her several times with his pocketknife, according to police.
Authorities say Fitts had argued with the victim about family issues before the murder.
He returned to the home that same day and stole her purse, cash, and credit card, police said.
The Prince George's County Police Department's Homicide Unit found Fitts had used the victim's credit card to purchase organic marijuana online in the days following the incident.
Police were able to recover the pocketknife William Fitts used during the attack and the clothing he wore that day.
Later that month, Fitts was charged as an adult with first-degree murder. He faced life in prison.
On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and theft. He will receive a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
“While it saddens me that someone so young would commit a crime of this nature, I am very pleased with the outcome of this case,” said State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “Mr. Fitts showed no remorse for his actions as he returned to the victim’s house after stabbing her in order to steal credit cards and cash for his own personal use.”
Fitts’ sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7.