March 27, 2023
Annapolis, US 60 F

Guilty Plea In Murder of Annapolis Woman in 2017

A pair connected with the 2017 disappearance of their former roommate, Megan Tilman, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her killing, according to State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. 

Christina Harnish, also known as Christina Stallings, and William Rice entered the plea in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis on Wednesday afternoon. Sentencing for the pair is scheduled for May 26, 2023 and the State is seeking the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for each.

“Megan offered friendship, her home, and her trust to Mr. Rice and Ms. Harnish, and when the finances ran dry, they did more than violate that trust – they took her life,” Leitess said. “It won’t bring Megan back, but it is my hope that today’s guilty pleas will bring justice to Megan’s family, who have long awaited answers for this heinous crime.

“I am extremely proud of all of the agencies involved in this case and the efforts of Assistant State’s Attorney Neubauer.  The Annapolis Police Department and the Anne Arundel County Police Department detectives Aaron Stein and Sgt. Kelly Harding worked on this cold case over the years and collaborated with our office to prepare it for charging and, ultimately, prosecution. This was no easy task for us to build a circumstantial case against the defendants, but we agreed to take on the challenge, and now two killers have been held accountable.”

In the fall of 2017, Rice and Harnish were roommates of Tilman and her elderly mother and had relied on their financial support.  When Tilman stopped providing that support, she disappeared. The family reported that they stopped hearing from Tilman, who regularly spoke with her young daughter on the phone. Her ex-husband reported receiving suspicious text messages and seeing social media posts on her account that were distinctly different from her normal communications. 

L-R: William Rice, Jr, Megan Tilman and Christina Stallings

By that time, Rice and Harnish had fled to Arizona by bus. 

In October 2017, shortly after her disappearance, Tilman’s remains were discovered in the bay in Shady Side’s Cedarhurst community. Police linked both to Tilman’s missing vehicle.  Rice was identified as the man seen driving Tilman’s vehicle to multiple ATM machines around the time she went missing. Harnish posted photos of herself to social media as she drove the vehicle to rehome her pet before the pair fled the State. The car was later found abandoned not far from a bus depot.

The pair were arrested in Arizona and extradited to Maryland in early 2022, where they have been held without bond. 

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