John Ernest Walsh pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. (pgcpd mugshot)
A man has been sentenced to 33 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing a woman who vanished in 1982.
The State’s Attorney Office for Prince George’s County said in a news release March 28 that 71-year-old John Ernest Walsh pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He had been charged in the slaying of 27-year-old Stephanie Watson of Laurel.
Prosecutors say Watson left her apartment in July 1982 for her job but never arrived. Her car was later found covered in blood. Her skull was later found but her body was not.
Prosecutors say in 2013 a detective submitted blood samples from Watson’s car to a state police lab, and a state DNA database returned a match for Walsh, who was in prison on an unrelated rape conviction.