top of page


Updated: Jan 30

Defendant shoots pregnant girlfriend, sets her on fire and flees to New York

UPPER MARLBORO, MD (January 27, 2023) – Yesterday, a Prince George’s County jury found 44-year-old Jerome Harris guilty on all charges, including first degree murder for an incident that occurred in April 2020. Harris is facing a potential maximum sentence of life plus almost 70 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18, 2023.

After a six-day trial and five hours of deliberation, Harris was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree arson, crime of violence against a pregnant person, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, altering physical evidence in a criminal proceeding, and other related gun charges.

On April 10, 2020, while in his Hyattsville apartment, Harris shot the victim, Zena Nichols (age 23), multiple times in the head, set her on fire, and then fled to New York. On the night of the murder, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS personnel responded to the report of a fire. During efforts to extinguish the fire, fire fighters located the victim’s body in Harris’ bedroom. She had severe burns and was pronounced deceased.

The investigation established that Harris was the primary leaseholder of the apartment, that he and the victim were in a relationship, and that the victim was pregnant. Further investigation revealed that the murder occurred approximately 30 minutes after the victim arrived at Harris’ apartment and that the fire was set on purpose. Ultimately, Harris was established as the shooter and the person who set the fire.

On April 14, 2020, four days after the murder, Harris was located and arrested in New York.

"This was a senseless tragedy in which a young woman and her unborn child lost their lives at the hands of someone who was supposed to love them. Mr. Harris took no responsibility for his actions, and that is why I am pleased that the jury found him guilty. I want to commend the prosecutor who handled this case and the family for believing in us as we sought justice for their loved one,” said State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.”

Recent Posts

See All

Charlie Stevenson found guilty of the fatal shooting of Anthony Forrest in Landover. UPPER MARLBORO, MD (March 6, 2023) –Twenty-one-year-old Charlie Stevenson, of District Heights, has been found guil

bottom of page