- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A Maryland man convicted of murdering his girlfriend last year has confessed to killing another woman he was living with three years earlier, police said Tuesday.

Hagerstown police disclosed Stephen G. Schleuniger’s confession Tuesday after the 44-year-old truck driver was sentenced in Allegany County Circuit Court to 30 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Lisa Ann Simmons.

As part of his December plea deal in the Simmons case, Schleuniger agreed to talk to Hagerstown police about the 2010 death of Tammy Myerly, also known as Tammy Shives. The deal included an agreement not to charge Schleuniger in Myerly’s death, said Hagerstown police Lt. Jim Hurd.

Hurd said police agreed to the terms after consulting with Myerly’s family. Although police would like to have seen Schleuniger tried and convicted in for Myerly’s death, “we will take the best result we can get in something like this,” Hurd said.

Both victims had shared homes with Schleuniger. And both women’s bodies were so decomposed that medical examiners were unable to say with certainty how they died.

Simmons, 43, disappeared Sept. 5 after neighbors heard her yelling for help and saw Schleuniger through a window kicking or stomping something, Cumberland police said. Blood stains on the floor, porch and Schleuniger’s shoes led them to charge him with first-degree murder, even though her body hadn’t been found.

In late November, after negotiating through his public defenders with prosecutors from both counties, Schleuniger confessed to killing Simmons and led police to her buried body in a Winchester, Va., industrial park.

In a meeting Friday with Hagerstown police, Schleuniger acknowledged strangling Myerly with an electrical cord July 12 or 13, 2010, Assistant Washington County State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion said. Myerly’s body was found in her home three weeks later.

Although police had always considered Myerly’s death suspicious, they did not have enough evidence to charge Schleuniger, Hurd said.

Cirincion expressed satisfaction Tuesday that Schleuniger is locked up.

“He’s somewhat slick. I’m thrilled that he got 30 years,” she said.

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