Man receives 60 years for assault, rape

One woman shot, another attacked within eight days

Verdict satisfies victims

Ballistic evidence provided link between 2 crimes

Anne Arundel

January 31, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

A South County man was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in prison for raping a woman and assaulting another, crimes that occurred within days of each other and were linked by investigators through ballistic evidence.

William Matthew Donley, 24, of the 4500 block of Owensville Sudley Road in Harwood entered Alford pleas to first-degree rape and first-degree assault before Judge Clayton Greene Jr. in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He received life in prison for the rape, with all but 60 years suspended, and 25 years for the assault, to be served concurrently.

By entering Alford pleas, Donley did not admit guilt but conceded that the state's evidence was strong enough for a conviction.

The sentences were consistent with the recommendations of Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers, who said the victims are "very, very satisfied."

"I think it was a great plea," Rogers said. "I don't believe he'll ever get out."

Harold Dwin, one of Donley's attorneys, declined to comment on the case. William Davis, his other attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Donley entered the first-degree assault plea in the Jan. 3, 2000, shooting of Marie Wallis, who was shot in the back of the head through her family-room window while she watched television.

Wallis, who lives in the 4600 block of Owensville Sudley Road, felt something hit her in the back of the head about 11:30 p.m., touched her head and saw blood on her hand, Rogers said. She yelled for her husband, who had gone to bed, and he called police, Rogers said. She was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released.

Testimony would have shown that Wallis was shot at close range and that the house's front-porch light bulb had been removed, probably by someone wearing gloves, Rogers said.

Donley entered the first-degree rape plea in the Jan. 11, 2000, attack on a medical worker who was choked until she was unconscious, then raped, after walking to her car in a primary care center's parking lot in Owensville.

When the woman regained consciousness, she saw that some of her clothes had been ripped off, Rogers said. The woman called police from her cellular phone, and authorities found evidence that she had been raped, Rogers said.

Donley was arrested first on the rape charge after county police dogs followed a path from the primary care center to Owensville Sudley Road. Based on criminal histories, police identified possible suspects, including Donley. He gave a saliva sample to police that matched DNA evidence from the attack, Rogers said.

During a search of Donley's house, a county detective saw a case of .22-caliber bullets in Donley's bedroom and suspected a link to the shooting. An FBI comparison found that the bullets matched the one that was taken from Wallis' head, Rogers said.

In September, Donley was charged with attempted murder, assault and related weapons violations in the shooting.

In January 2000, Donley was released from state prison after serving a five-year sentence for manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

He pleaded guilty in 1996 to driving his car while an accomplice threw a 5-pound rock that crashed through the windshield of Kevin Michael Gallagher's truck as he was driving home from work. The rock caused the truck to crash, killing the 38-year-old father of three, a contractor who lived in Deale.

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