After being on the run for five years, Lamont Stephenson, 46, who had been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List since 2018, was sentenced to 31 and a half years in prison by Superior Court Judge Ronald D. Wigler in Essex County.
Stephenson was apprehended in Maryland in 2019 after fleeing as a prime suspect in the bizarre October 2014 killing of his fiancée and her dog in Newark. Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, said Stephenson was sentenced following his guilty plea.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Henry Stawinski said that Stephenson was arrested around 2 a.m. on March 7. He explained that officers responded to a call about a suspicious person who had “taken up residence in a truck” on Annapolis Road.
Stephenson has also been identified as a suspect in a separate pet-owner murder, the stabbing to death of a woman and her cat, that occurred March 6, 2019, in the Washington, D.C. area, only a few hours before he was apprehended. He faces a homicide charge in that case.
Stephenson, 46, on June 17 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for strangling Olga “Ivy” DeJesus in her Newark home on Oct. 17, 2014, saying he killed his high school sweetheart because he did not want to tell her that he had been fired from his job at Pep Boys, the auto parts and service store.
According to the FBI, Stephenson murdered his fiancee, Olga DeJesus, in a fit of rage. The 40-year-old mother of two children had been suffocated at the home she shared with Stephenson in Newark, on October 17, 2014.
Dejesus’ daughter, Cassandra DeJesus, said she knew something was wrong after not hearing from her mother. She and her cousin, Alexander Dejesus, went to the home.
They found the family dog, Lola, dead just inside the door. The chihuahua had also been asphyxiated.
Cassandra said that after seeing that, she couldn’t bring herself to go upstairs.
Her cousin, Alexander Dejesus, found Olga dead in her bedroom.
“I see her in the bed, she was almost turning blue. So we call for emergency responders. This was not supposed to happen not like this, no signs, no clues of anything,” said Alexander Dejesus.
Stephenson and DeJesus went to high school together and had begun dating after their 20th-year high school reunion.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, a relative of Stephenson’s reported that he or she had seen Stephenson in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in July of 2017. But officials did not find him.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carl Priddy said the manner in which DeJesus died suggested that Stephenson had a “strong tendency to act out in rage.” He said investigators were concerned that Stephenson could hurt someone else. Priddy described Stephenson as a “threat to other women and the community as a whole.”
Stephenson was put on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List in October of 2018 for the homicide charge in Essex County, New Jersey. A federal arrest warrant was issued on September 8, 2017. Federal prosecutors added a charge of “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.”