NEW: 50-Year Sentence for Man who Murdered Girlfriend

Tonja Deshaun Chadwick (Courtesy of Marcell Thomas)

BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- Marco Holmes was sentenced to 50 years in prison after being found guilty of the second degree murder of his girlfriend, Tonja Chadwick, and dumping her in Daisy Field in early 2017. He was also convicted of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence; as well as, wearing, carrying, or transporting a hand gun.

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 at approximately 6:00 p.m., Tonja Chadwick left her aunt’s house, and was going to meet her boyfriend, Holmes, at the apartment the couple had moved into the prior week. Chadwick left her four-year-old child with family over the weekend. It was the last time Chadwick’s family heard from her.

According to Chadwick’s aunt, Holmes came to her home, unannounced, the following day and told her that Chadwick never showed up at their apartment the night before. Chadwick’s aunt then began to call the victim’s cell phone. The phone calls went directly to voicemail.

On Monday, January 30, 2017 at approximately 9:00 a.m., the victim’s aunt called Chadwick’s phone again. This time, a maintenance man from the Mannasota Manor Apartment Complex answered the phone and stated that he had found the phone near one of the apartment buildings. Mannasota Manor is located less than a mile away from Holmes’ apartment in the 4700 block of Parkside Garden Drive.

Chadwick’s aunt made arrangements to recover the phone from the rental office, then contacted the police to report that her niece was missing. Chadwick’s aunt then made several attempts to call Holmes, but he never answered the phone.

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, Baltimore City homicide detectives responded to the victim’s apartment, where they observed two large stains of suspected blood on the carpet. The stains appeared as if someone attempted to scrub them clean. Detectives also located blue latex gloves in the apartment, and noticed the bedding from the victim’s bed was missing. The victim’s purse— with her identification and credit cards— was left behind in the apartment.

DNA testing would later confirm that one carpet stain contained the victim’s blood. Traces of DNA from both Holmes and Chadwick were found on the latex gloves.

Investigation of cell phone records revealed that the cell phones associated with Holmes and the victim were located at their address until 9:57 pm on the day that Chadwick dropped her son off to her aunt. The victim’s phone remained at the apartment while Holmes’ phone connected to a cell phone tower near Daisy Field, which is located near the 300 block of North Hilton Street — the same location where Chadwick’s body was eventually located.

On Thursday, February 2, 2017 at approximately 5:00 p.m., officers searched Daisy Park where they located the victim in the woods wrapped in a comforter, white blanket, and a purple sheet. Chadwick had been buried under leaves and large tree branches, and had noticeable signs of injury to her face. A trash bag with various cleaning items and bed sheets belonging to the victim’s four-year-old son were found nearby the next morning.

An autopsy revealed that the victim sustained a single gunshot to the forehead. Injuries were also sustained to her hands and bruising to her biceps. Testing would later confirm that Holmes’ DNA was on the fingernails of the victim.

Holmes was arrested by members of the Baltimore City Warrant Apprehension Unit on a violation of probation warrant. He was transported to the Homicide Unit, where he was interviewed. Holmes told police that he and the victim had gotten into an argument on the night of the murder. He said that he left Tonja Chadwick in the apartment, and he went to stay at his cousin’s house.

Video from a laundromat captured a lengthy physical altercation between Holmes and the victim on the night she was murdered.

“While nothing can bring this mother back to her young child, I pray this sentence brings some peace of mind to this family who has had to endure the unimaginable,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “This defendant, not only killed this young mother but deceived her family, and he will be locked away from society for a very long time, as he deserves.”

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