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Boyfriend Pleads Guilty to Murder of Cumberland Woman

"We've been in contact with the family from the very beginning and we've let them know what was going on with the case. Obviously the recovery of Lisa's body was important to them. It was very important for us as well. Hopefully that can start the closure process for them," said Erich Bean, Assistant State's Attorney, Allegany County.
CUMBERLAND, Md. - Charged with first degree murder Stephen Schleuniger entered a plea agreement of second degree murder in connection with the death of Lisa Simmons in the Allegany Circuit Court on Tuesday.

"That was based on the evidence that we had we felt that was the appropriate plea, the appropriate charge for him to plead guilty to," said Erick Bean, Assistant State's Attorney for Allegany County.

But authorities also want to hear what Schleuniger may know about the death of his former girlfriend Tammy Myerly. 

As part of the plea agreement, Schleuniger has agreed to talk with Washington County law enforcement about Myerly who was found dead in her apartment in 2010.

"As reported last week, we believed that he had killed her and we had charged him with murder," said Bean. "However, we happened, recovered her body until last Monday at which time a plea agreement was reached where by he did provide a full confession to us. And he then took us, lead us to the Winchester, Virginia area where the body was recovered."

Simmons family and friends were seated in the first two rows of the courtroom where they heard a description of the last moment of Simmons' life.

In his confession, Schleuniger said an argument turned violent and that he slapped Simmons and dragged her into the home where he began beating her before using a dog leash to strangle her.

He then put Simmons body in garbage bags. The following day, September 6th, he left her body in the Winchester Industrial Park and even went back to check on the body just before his arrest on September 10th.

As the prosecutor read the gruesome details of her death, family members were visibly emotional and crying.

Schleuniger faces 30 years in prison with a 10 year suspension.

"We've been in contact with the family from the very beginning and we've let them know what was going on with the case. Obviously the recovery of Lisa's body was important to them. It was very important for us as well. Hopefully that can start the closure process for them," said Bean.

The family declined to be on camera, but they told WHAG's Kirstin Garriss as they were leaving court, that Lisa Simmons' team did a good job with her case.

Schleungier will remain in the Allegany County Detention Center until his sentencing on January 14, 2014.

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