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Life Term Given to Salisbury Resident for Vicious Attack on 80-Year-Old Woman

On Thursday, Ralph Harmon Jr., a resident of Salisbury, received a life sentence in Circuit Court for Wicomico County, along with an additional 60 years of imprisonment, for crimes that included rape and attempted murder.

Here’s an overview of the heinous act that led to Harmon’s sentencing.

Details of the Crime

Harmon was found guilty by a Wicomico County jury on Nov. 16, 2023, after a four-day trial. The charges against him included attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree rape, second-degree rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery, and other related offenses.

The sentencing was delayed to allow for a pre-sentencing investigation, during which Harmon remained in custody. Finally, on Jan. 13, 2023, the sentencing took place.

That day, the 80-year-old victim was leaving her home in Seaford to go to her car parked in the driveway when Harmon approached her. He then forced her into the vehicle at gunpoint, assaulted her, and drove away. The victim was subjected to robbery, physical violence, and coercion to reveal her debit card PIN.

As they crossed into Maryland, Harmon further assaulted the victim, bound her hands, and took her to a residence in Salisbury. There, he pushed her into the Wicomico River after a series of traumatic events, leaving her for dead. Despite the ordeal, the victim managed to survive by freeing herself from her restraints and seeking help.

Aftermath of the Assault

Following the assault, Harmon used the victim’s debit card for a spending spree with five of his friends. The authorities located the victim’s vehicle in a Salisbury parking lot, leading to Harmon’s arrest after a brief chase. He was apprehended with the victim’s debit card in his possession.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney, Jamie Dykes, expressed gratitude towards the victim for her bravery and resilience throughout the ordeal. Dykes also praised the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution, ensuring that justice was served. The collaborative efforts of the Maryland State Police, Salisbury Police Department, and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, particularly Detective Senior Trooper Garrett Dick, were acknowledged for their dedication to the case.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Heather Clarke, Lauren Bourdon, and D. Scott Messersmith handled the prosecution.