Murderer Sentenced to Life for Beating Elderly Man to Death with Crowbar

EDGEWOOD, MD – A woman described by prosecutors as a “violent murderer” has been sentenced for beating a 71-year-old man from Edgewood to death with a crowbar. The woman, Ashley Pearl Zentz, now 36, was convicted of the brutal murder and theft of the victim’s vehicle.

The incident occurred on Feb. 18, 2022, when Harford County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at the victim’s home. The victim, Gerald Champ, was found with multiple skull fractures and defensive wounds to his hands and arms. Detectives identified a crowbar found in the victim’s home as the murder weapon and connected Zentz to the crime.

Zentz was also linked to a home invasion in Baltimore County, where a stolen vehicle from the incident was recovered near her parents’ home. The prosecution requested a life sentence for first-degree murder and Zentz was ultimately sentenced to life in prison, with all but 60 years suspended.

State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey commended the victim’s daughter for her courage in delivering a victim impact statement and expressed hope that the sentence brings closure to the victim’s family. The sentencing was seen as a significant victory for the safety of Harford County, removing a violent murderer from the community for decades to come.

In conclusion, the sentencing of Ashley Pearl Zentz for the murder of Gerald Champ with a crowbar and the theft of his vehicle has brought a sense of closure to the victim’s family and the community. Justice has been served for the brutal crime that took the life of a 71-year-old man in Edgewood.