2019 | Courts

Jurors Convict Man in 2018 Killing of North Bethesda Woman

Involuntary manslaughter, arson verdicts returned in case where victim's body was burned

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Stephan Leroy H. Lunningham


A Germantown man who killed a North Bethesda woman and set her remains on fire was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and arson by a Montgomery County jury Tuesday.

Stephan Leroy H. Lunningham, 29, was acquitted of first- and second-degree murder charges by the 12-member jury. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

“It is hard to agree with the verdict but we must accept it,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff said in an email. “This defendant still faces 30 years in prison and we hope the judge gives him what he deserves.”

Lunningham was arrested in March 2018 following the death of 49-year-old Angela “Paris” Fay Thomas. A burning car with Thomas’ body was found near a residential area in Germantown on March 14, 2018.

Thomas’ boyfriend hadn’t seen her for 10 days prior to her body being discovered, police said. A friend told officers that Thomas had left her apartment “with a guy named Steph” on March 11, according to court documents.

Thomas had been dead for two days before she was found, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Lunningham stabbed Thomas dozens of times, then drove her car with her body for two days, before setting the vehicle and her remains on fire.

The jury convicted Lunningham for involuntary manslaughter based on a “hot-blooded response,” the jury foreman said.

Lunningham showed little reaction after the verdict, thanking the judge and shaking the hands of his defense attorneys.

Lunningham said he’s “not a violent individual” during an initial court appearance.

Lunningham is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19. He also faces a jury trial for first-degree assault in the case, though defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed to revisit the scheduling at the sentencing hearing.

Charlie Wright can be reached at charlie.wright@bethesdamagazine.com