‘Evil': Husband Convicted of Beating, Killing Wife in Montgomery County

Reginald Dunlap Jr. was convicted of murdering 40-year-old Lauren Charles

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A Maryland man was found guilty of beating and killing his wife, and then trying to cover up the crime to make it look like she was killed during a robbery at their Silver Spring home.

Reginald Dunlap Jr. was convicted of murder Friday in the death of 40-year-old Lauren Charles.

Charles tried to leave Dunlap in March 2021 after finding out he cheated on her, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Dunlap forced a pillowcase down his wife’s throat and beat her to death with a Buddha statue at their home. Then, he poured bleach on her body and ransacked the bedroom to try to stage the crime scene to look like someone broke into the house.

"He went to church in the morning after he killed her, to create himself an alibi. He thought that he was gonna get away with it. But he didn’t," said Debbie Feinstein, chief of the Special Victims Unit for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.

Court documents indicate police suspected Dunlap early on, when they noticed blood on his hand and no signs of forced entry at the home.

"He had nothing inside of him but evil. He was an emissary of the devil. There is no doubt in my mind," the victim's father John Charles said after the conviction.

He said he had a bad feeling from the moment he met Dunlap.

"She asked daddy what do you think of my boyfriend, and my response to her was, 'Baby, I need another first impression 'cause this one didn’t work,'" John Charles said.

He said he hopes his daughter's story can help other victims of domestic violence before it’s too late.

Lauren Charles was an attorney and her loved ones say she made friends everywhere she went.

"She was just one of the most brilliant people that I’ve ever met. Not only that, she was very very kind, very thoughtful," Charles' friend Besrat Gebrawold said.

Dunlap will be sentenced in July. The state’s attorney’s office said it plans to ask for a sentence of life in prison.

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