A Kansas man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering his pregnant girlfriend on the day she was hoping to learn the baby’s gender.
Devonte Dominique Wash, 30, was sentenced on Friday to life behind bars without the possibility of parole for the 2018 fatal shooting of Ashley Harlan, 23, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.
“I’ve been practicing in this county for over 30 years — this is one of the most intensely litigated cases I’ve seen as an attorney and judge,” Judge Charles Droege said during Friday’s court hearing, according to the Kansas City Star.
A jury found Wash, of Kansas City, guilty of capital murder on May 3 for both the death of Harlan and her unborn son; such a conviction requires a life sentence under Kansas state law.
Harlan was found shot to death inside her grandfather’s townhouse in Olathe on Jan. 30, 2018, Law&Crime reports, after Wash called to report the shooting. She had been shot three times, including at least once to the head, WDAF reported at the time, and her body had been moved after she was shot.
She was killed on the day day she was expecting to learn her unborn baby’s gender, KSHB reports; she was 20 weeks pregnant with a boy. She had also recently moved into her grandfather Perry Richardson's home in order to be closer to Wash.
“I won’t get to see her become a mother. I won’t be able to see her laugh, cry and learn with her son,” Richardson said during victim impact statements on Friday, according to the Kansas City Star.
During the course of their investigation, though Wash told investigator's he'd never owned a gun, they learned that he'd recently bought one, using cash, from a sporting goods store in Kansas City. Both the gun and ammunition recovered after matched the evidence at the murder scene. He'd also rented a U-Haul truck under his friend's name, which was captured on a surveillance camera near the shooting.
Investigators said that Wash had planned the murder in advance.
“This has been a long four years and I’m thankful the family stuck with us through this case,” prosecutor Steve Howe told the Kansas City Star on Friday. “Justice has been done for Ashley today.”