Convicted Murderer Loses Bid for Reduction of Sentence

James Walter Harley, Jr., convicted of first degree premeditated murder in Calvert County in 2018, has lost his bid to have his sentence reduced. Circuit Court Judge Mark S. Chandlee denied Harley’s motion for reconsideration of sentence on January 26, 2024, stating that he has “serious concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the community” should Harley be released.

Harley was convicted of the shooting death of his wife inside the family home in Lusby. The shooting was witnessed by Harley’s 8-year-old son. Harley fled the scene on foot. The child was found wandering through the neighborhood by nearby residents.

Harley is serving a life sentence at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland. North Branch is a maximum security facility.

This case was prosecuted by Calvert County State’s Attorney Robert Harvey.