Forde Convicted of First Degree Murder
A four day trial ended late Thursday afternoon with the Hon. Judge Jeanette A. Irby finding Kelvin Nathaniel Forde, 52, guilty of first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the 2014 murder of his wife, Ruby Forde.
On the morning of of March 11, 2014, Kelvin Forde and his wife left their home in Baltimore, Maryland and headed to Ruby’s sister’s home in Ashburn, Virginia. Mrs. Forde arranged to meet her sister in Ashburn and then together, Ruby and her sister would travel to a nearby airport to catch a flight bound for Jamaica to celebrate Ruby’s birthday and visit family. Instead of driving his wife to her sister’s home, Kelvin Forde drove her to a remote and secluded cul-de-sac in Loudoun County where he shot her at least twice with a handgun. After the killing, Forde called 9-1-1 and advised there had been a shooting and abruptly hung up. Through the use of cell phone records, the couple was located, and law enforcement and fire and rescue were summoned to the scene where they discovered Mrs. Forde’s body slumped over in the passenger seat of their vehicle. Mr. Forde sat quietly on the ground nearby.
Over the course of the trial, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Sean Morgan and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith Burke, presented evidence that included the handgun used to kill Ms. Forde, photographs, a map of the area, a firearms expert, expert testimony regarding cell phone towers and signals, witness testimony from Ruby Forde’s co-workers and family, and Kelvin Forde’s recorded interview with law enforcement. “The defendant was going to make sure that Ruby did not go to Jamaica,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith M. Burke said.
Judge Irby found that Kelvin Forde attempted to assert control over his wife by monitoring her phone calls, her emails, and making unannounced visits to her place of employment. When Mrs. Forde made plans to travel out of the country on her birthday, Mr. Forde’s final act of control was to prevent that trip by taking her life.
The Court found there was “no legal excuse the killing,” and noted that witness testimony showed that the defendant was calm leading up to the murder. During his interview with law enforcement, Forde repeatedly said he had no excuse for killing his wife.
The case will be back in Circuit Court again on June 6, 2016, when a final sentencing hearing will be scheduled.