UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — A judge ruled the man accused of murdering a Prince George’s County teacher will remain behind bars without bail. He was denied bond in a court hearing Wednesday.
33-year-old Harold Francis Landon III is facing several murder charges in the death of a Greenbelt teacher Mariame Sylla. Although his public defender says there’s not enough evidence to prove he was involved in the crime, the judge says the accusations against him are “horrific” and determined Landon is a danger to the public.
“We have strong evidence – currently we think [the] case will only get stronger as that evidence gets processed,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
On July 29th, Sylla was reported missing to Greenbelt Police after she did not return home from her daily walk at Schrom Hills Park. According to court documents, on Aug. 1 a dismembered body was found near a pond in Clinton, nearly 20 miles from where she went missing. The remains were later identified as being Sylla.
Court documents say phone records place Landon at the park at the same time as Sylla, and later in the same area where the remains were found. Based on a photo, surveillance footage and a witness, a white man in a white pick-up truck was seen at the pond on July 31.
He dumped an item – where Sylla’s remains were later found – and washed his hands in the pond.
In court on Wednesday, Landon’s public defender said the evidence in the statement of charges are “circumstantial.” She said Landon visits the park often like many others, and there just was not enough evidence to prove Landon was the one that committed the crime.
“The individual who did this crime this crime was done on purpose. The cover-up and the attempt to really ensure that no one could identify the body, from my perspective, was deliberate,” said Braveboy.
His public defender asked he be considered for bond, pre-trial or home detention, but prosecutors did not agree.
“He himself as well as others that know him identified him in those photographs. It’s very strong evidence,” said Jonathon Church, Special counsel for the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Before Landon was charged in this case, he was already behind bars for an indictment for a domestic-related case involving the mother of his child. In a separate case, he’s also facing assault and robbery charges, also involving the mother of his child. On Wednesday, a judge ruled no bond for him in that case as well.
“What we do know is that Mr. Landon has a history of abusing women,” said Braveboy.
Now Landon is facing first and second-degree murder charges in the murder of Sylla.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney is leading the case – this will be her fourth time stepping to the forefront during her time as the County’s State’s Attorney. She said this is personal.
“I felt strongly that I wanted to be a part, personally, of seeking justice for her. I look forward to working with John Church to seek justice for this community,” she said.
Landon’s next court date is set for October.