Judge Imposes Life Sentence in Loudoun Murder Cold Case

Timothy William Warnick, 60, was back in Loudoun County Circuit Court one last time on Monday to hear Judge Douglas L. Fleming Jr formally sentence him to life in prison.

Warnick was convicted by a Loudoun jury in April of first-degree murder and robbery in the 1988 death of Henry E. “Ricky” Ryan.

During the course of the week-long trial Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Faw and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryan Perry presented evidence that Warnick was one of the last people seen with Ryan the night of his death. Amid a night of partying near the Shenandoah River in West Virginia, the two went on a beer run with a third, unknown man. Warnick’s son and ex-girlfriend testified that Warnick had confessed to them that he had killed Ryan. A pill bottle with Warnick’s name was found in Ryan’s hand when his body was recovered by Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies in 1989.

The jury deliberated for two days before returning a guilty verdict.

Fleming upheld the jury’s sentence of life in prison plus five years and a $100,000 fine. He also imposed a three-year period of post-release supervision.

The case had been investigated several times since Ryan disappeared in 1988 and the discovery of his body on the Blue Ridge near the Loudoun County boundary the next year.

“This case is testament to the unending dedication to justice of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. We are pleased that though hard work and unwavering determination, the victim’s family has closure,” stated Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Wittmann.

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