SNOW HILL - On December 1st, 2017, Anthony Tunnell, 36, of New Church, Virginia was sentenced to Life without the Possibility of Parole by the Honorable Richard R. Bloxom in the Circuit Court for Worcester County.
Mr. Tunnell was found guilty after a two day jury trial on August 12th, 2017 of First Degree Murder for his role in the homicide of James Allen II, 26, of Pocomoke City, MD. Mr. Allen was shot once through the back in Pocomoke City during the late evening hours of December 1st, 2016.
The Office of the State’s Attorney for Worcester County filed its intention to seek Life without the Possibility of Parole prior to the August trial date and the Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation prior to the December 1st sentencing.
During sentencing, Deputy State’s Attorney Bill McDermott asked that Mr. Tunnell be sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed under Maryland law, stating that On December 1st, “Anthony Tunnell planned, orchestrated and successfully effectuated a calculated, cold blooded drug cartel style assassination because he believed someone stole his marijuana supply”. McDermott continued, “Mr. Tunnell decided to be judge, jury and executioner, and as certain as James Allen will never breathe again, a sentence of Life without the Possibility of Parole will ensure that Anthony Tunnell never harm another person in our community”.
Before imposing his sentence Judge Bloxom commented that on December 1st, 2016 Mr. Tunnell entered Worcester County with the intent “to assassinate James Allen”. He noted that one of the purposes of sentencing is to protect the community from people like Anthony Tunnell and that the sentence of Life without the Possibility of Parole would accomplish that purpose.
The State’s Attorney for Worcester County, Beau Oglesby commended the Maryland State Police’s Homicide Unit for their efforts: “Solving and successfully prosecuting this homicide required dedication and countless hours of investigation and preparation by members of law enforcement. Sergeant Sabrina Metzger, Sergeant Kyle Clark and all participating allied law enforcement investigators went above and beyond to protect Pocomoke City and the Worcester County community.”
Oglesby added, “thanks to the efforts of law enforcement, the citizens of Worcester County will wake up in the safety of their beds while Mr. Tunnell will wake up every day for the rest of his life in the confines of his cell”.
Chief William Harden of the Pocomoke City Police Department said, “The investigation and adjudication of the defendant is a prime example of effective collaboration between the Pocomoke City Police Department, The Worcester County Criminal Bureau of Investigations, The Maryland State Police and The Office of the State’s Attorney for Worcester County. The interests of justice were served, and the Office of the State’s Attorney should be commended for a job well done”