William Fitts sentenced to 60 years for murdering 92-year-old woman

Fitts, now 16, admitted to stabbing Steele multiple times after an argument. Photo: Prince George's County Police

A District Heights teenager has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder of his 92-year-old neighbor last August.

The sentence comes after then 15-year-old William Fitts admitted to the Aug. 15, 2011 murder of Thelma Steele inside her East Avenue home. When officers arrived to check her home after she hadn't been heard from for several days, authorities found her dead on a couch with several stab wounds.

Fitts' family and residents in the neighborhood where they all lived expressed shock and horror after the murder and admission by the boy whom Steele had watched and helped grow up.

"Mrs. Steele was like a grandmother to me," William's brother, Warren, said last August. "I really loved her."

Now 16, Fitts admitted to police that he had stabbed Steele several times with a pocket knife after they argued about family problems. He later went back to her home and took her purse, cash and credit cards.

Sixty years behind bars was the maximum sentence Fitts could have received, according to Prince George's County Deputy State's Attorney Tara Harrison-Jackson.

"There was absolutely no motive for this crime that we are aware of and that makes it even more horrific," Harrison-Jackson said Friday.