Crofton man sentenced for 2012 murder

ANNAPOLIS - Michael Stahlnecker, 51, of Crofton, was sentenced to life in prison and 20 years for the 2012 murder of John Patrick Ryan, according to a release from State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Pamela North called the murder "a cowardly move,” before adding more time to Stahlnecker’s sentence, according to the release.

Ryan had been under investigation by Frederick County Maryland Narcotics Task Force for four months prior to his death, according to the release.

During the investigation, Stahlnecker frequently met with Ryan and was discovered to be a “close associate” after authorities tapped Ryan’s phone, officials said.

On Nov. 29, 2012, after Ryan had missed a flight to San Francisco, Ryan’s wife reported that her husband was missing, officials said.

When authorities contacted Stahlnecker to investigate, Stahlnecker falsely claimed that he hadn’t talked to Ryan in a month.

Authorities issued a search warrant and conducted an investigation at Stahlnecker’s warehouse where Ryan’s blood and shell casings were found.

Ryan was found with two bullet wounds in his head in a trunk in Montgomery County next to $1,000 and a pound of marijuana, according to authorities.

"Mr. Stahlnecker is a violent man who has shown no remorse and even smirked throughout his trial. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars and is no longer free to hurt another family,” State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said.

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