Frederick Man Sentenced To 50 Years For 1st-Degree Murder

The murder occurred in Frederick, the victim’s body was dumped in West Virginia.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – A guilty plea was entered Monday morning by a Frederick man for a  May, 2019 murder. The State’s Attorney’s Office says Ryan David Bretzfelder, 46, pleaded guilty to 1st-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with all but 50-years suspended.

He will be placed on five-years of supervised probation when he’s released from prison. Under the terms of his probation, Bretzfelder must abstain from alcohol  and drugs, undergo testing for substance abuse and a mental health evaluation and treatment as directed. . In addition, he must have no contact with the victim’s family, and stay away from their residences and places of employment.  He will undergo GPS monitoring.

This is binding plea agreement, and the sentence cannot be modified unless all parties agree, the State’s Attorney’s Office says.

On May 2nd, 2019, the Jefferson County, West Virginia,  Sheriff’s Office located the body of the victim, Devon Jamel Wallace, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia, in a field in the 4300 block of Summit Point Road near Charles Town. During the course of their investigation, detectives say they were able to identify Wallace as the victim, and were able to connect  him with an address on Wilcox Court in Frederick through a WiFi connection.

Further investigation revealed that on May 1st, 2019, Wallace, and a friend identified as Samantha Guthrie, and her toddler, traveled to Frederick to meet with Bretzfelder. Both Wallace and Bretzfelder got into an argument which turned physical. Police say Bretzfelder attacked Wallace. Bretzfelder told authorities he beat Wallace with a BBQ brush and his fists , and finally hit him in the head with a large rock from the backyard.

Later that night, Bretzfelder and Guthrie traveled to West Virginia to dispose of Wallace’s body.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in West Virginia determined Wallace died from multiple skull fractures.

In August, 2021, Guthrie pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a 1st-degree murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.

At the plea hearing on Monday, several members  of Wallace’s family testified.

“It has been nearly three years since this brutal murder occurred , three long years for the family of Devon Wallace to endure to get to this day,” says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith, in a statement. “We are pleased that they are pleased with this substantial sentence. We wanted to provide as much certainty  and closure as possible for the family. We thank them for their patience and grace throughout this process.”

By Kevin McManus