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November 17, 2023

On November 16, 2023, after a four (4) day jury trial, Ralph Harmon Jr., of Salisbury, Maryland, was convicted of Attempted First Degree Murder, Attempted Second Degree Murder, Rape First Degree, Rape Second Degree, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Armed Robbery, and related offenses. 

The Honorable Kathleen L. Beckstead, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court for Wicomico County, presided over the trial. Sentencing was postponed to allow for a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed. Harmon will remain in custody pending sentencing.

On January 13, 2023, the eighty (80) year-old-victim exited her residence in Seaford, De and walked to her car parked in her driveway. At that time, she was approached by Ralph Harmon, forced at gunpoint into her vehicle, pistol whipped, and driven away. 

The victim was robbed of her jewelry and forced by Harmon to provide the PIN number to her debit card. After crossing into Maryland, Harmon sexually assaulted and bound the victim's hands together. 

After visiting multiple ATM's, Harmon drove the victim to a residence on Riverside Drive in Salisbury where he forced her to walk onto a pier. Harmon then pushed the victim into the frigid water of the Wicomico River. 

When the victim managed to surface, Harmon laid onto the pier and again pistol whipped the victim causing her to again slip beneath the water and sustain a significant laceration to her head. 

Satisfied that she would not survive, Harmon walked back to the victim's vehicle and left the area.

Miraculously, after more than eleven (11) minutes in the freezing water, the victim was able to free her hands and climb up a kayak ramp onto the pier. 

She then managed to walk to Riverside Drive where passing motorists called 911. The victim was transported to Tidal Health where she received staples in her head and received care for multiple other injuries.

After leaving the victim in the Wicomico River with her hands bound, Harmon proceeded to pick up five (5) of his friends and engage in a spending spree using the victim's debit card. In the afternoon hours of January 13th, the victim's vehicle was observed by police in a parking lot on Main Street in Salisbury. As the police approached the vehicle, Ralph Harmon immediately fled the area. After a brief foot chase he was arrested, still in possession of the victim's debit card.

Wicomico County State's Attorney (SA) Jamie Dykes said "This victim is fortunate to be alive. She endured incomprehensible terror from the moment Ralph Harmon accosted her in Seaford, Delaware, until she managed to climb from the frigid waters of the Wicomico River nearly two hours later. Ralph Harmon is the embodiment of evil, but thanks to the courage and fortitude of the victim, the work of law enforcement and prosecutors, and the commitment of the jury, Harmon will be held accountable and I pray that will never again be in the position to prey upon another innocent victim."

(SA) Jamie Dykes commended the members of the Maryland State Police, the Salisbury Police Department, and the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office for their work in the investigation, specifically thanking the lead Detective, Senior-Trooper Garrett Dick for his hard work and diligence in the investigation. SA Dykes also commended Senior Assistant State's Attorneys Heather Clarke, Lauren Bourdon, and D. Scott Messersmith, who prosecuted the case. 

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