Aberdeen Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Jan. 2011 Murder of Aberdeen Youth

On February 13, 2012, Terrence Darreyll Wanzer, 22, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Thomas Burdsall, Jr, age 16, of Aberdeen.

The Defendant had been found guilty by a jury of First Degree Murder on November 28, 2012. Judge Angela Eaves listened to the emotional statements of the victim’s mother, Jennifer Burdsall, as she described the impact of her son’s murder on and her and her family, before imposing the life sentence. T

he Defendant had been found guilty of stabbing Mr. Burdsall in the heart at the Burdsall residence after the two began arguing on January 8, 2011. Aberdeen police arrived at the Burdsall residence just after 7:30 pm that night to find Mrs. Burdsall administering CPR to her son, who had been stabbed in the heart. He died a short while later at the hospital after life saving efforts failed. Investigators located witnesses who were present at the time of the stabbing who named Wanzer as the attacker. These witnesses testified in a three day trial in November.

The State’s Attorney’s Office wishes to commend the Aberdeen Police Department on its thorough investigation in the case.


  1. RTFU says

    Bleeding heart liberals running the place. If anyone deserved the Death Penalty, it was this guy. Now we, the honest tax-paying citizens of Harford County, will have to pay for his imprisonment for a number of years.

    I say bring back hard labor, let these prisoners work towards their own housing, food and medical costs. Sheriff Joe has it right!

    • Kharn says

      Farm prisons were a decent idea, let the prison system grow its own vegetables, raise its own cattle, grow cotton, weave the cloth for the uniforms, etc.

  2. mustachquerade says

    Good riddance to this piece of garbage. I really hope this punk kid behaves as poorly in DOC as he did in your local facility.

  3. Concerned Teacher says

    Mr. Wanzer was one of my former students. Now that this is past, I can say that most of the time he was a normal, if not overly bright young man. However, he had a scary temper and a need to show everyone around him that he was the top dog and that he wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything. Someone who is truly evil is easier to spot and easier to stay away from. Mr. Wanzer was more frightening because his temper could come from nowhere, and if you didn’t know how bad it could be you might think he was alright. He isn’t, and I feel safer with him on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

  4. Trying to Survive for 25 says

    RTFU, Mr. Wanzer will be sent to North Branch in Cumberland which is a state facility that all lifers go to so it is the tax payers of the entire state of Maryland that will pay for Mr. Wanzer. Sheriff Joe was once a great sheriff but has since taken his celebrity too far, he has cost Maricopa county more in wrongful death lawsuits than it would ever cost to house prisoners for life. Our state is very different from Arizona in that they have county prisons where you go to await trial and most stay there even if they receive lengthy sentences, thats how he gets away with doing what he does. In Maryland, any sentence over 1yr is eligibile for state department of corrections with anything over 18 months mandatory DOC. If you ever sat in the court room for a death penalty case then you would know why they don’t seek it very often. The jury knows up front that it is a death penalty case rather than a simple first degree murder, which effects the juries ability to render a verdict. There are actually two trials, one to determine guilt or innocence and a second to determine verdict, it is a two week process. The sentencing portion includes bringing in and paying experts who have never even met Mr. Wanzer to testify about the psychological upbringing of children, the effects on a person awaiting death, national statistics on crime prevention, etc etc. When all of this is done, if the person is sentenced to death than he is guaranteed appellate rights that involve doing it all again, if the second process results in the death penalty again then he sits on death row for a decade before being put to death. Our state has made it so incredibly difficult to legally process a death penalty case that it is not worth seeking.