A Maryland woman and her dog met a violent death as a result of her secret life as a drug dealer, say the prosecutors who want to bring her killer to justice.
According to the Capital Gazette, Nicole Burgess, 37, appeared to live a normal, quiet life in rural Davidsonville, Maryland; self-employed in the linen business and living in an upscale home she inherited from her family.
But it was her side business that was the most lucrative of all: She was reportedly selling $240,000 a month in marijuana. And it was an associate in this illegal enterprise who is accused of stabbing Burgess 28 times and slashing her pit bull mix in March 2013.
After a year and a half of investigating, Anne Arundel County Police identified a suspect in what they described as a “gruesome” killing. Terrence Proctor, 37, a known drug dealer, was charged with first-degree murder.
His murder trial began on Monday, where prosecutors presented a narrative of the killing, which they believe was connected to a drug deal. The assistant state’s attorney Jason Miller said in court that Proctor arranged to meet Burgess at her home the morning of her death. Perhaps in a robbery attempt turned violent, Proctor killed the woman and her dog and fled with seven pounds of marijuana and Burgess’s iPhone.
But the suspect left behind two “burner” phones, one that Burgess used to communicate with him– and Miller claims it’s evidence Proctor killed the woman. He sent a text message the burner phone after the murder, which Miller described as a “fake alibi.”
The prosecution also said there is DNA evidence from a sliding door in the home that placed him at the scene.
The defense has argued that beyond the DNA evidence, which they claim can’t be precisely dated, there’s no hard evidence putting him at the scene: No surveillance, no witnesses.
According to court records obtained by the Capital Gazette, Proctor was convicted of second-degree attempted murder in 1998.
Photo: Police handout