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State Police Homicide Unit Commended For A Five Year Investigation That Yields Guilty Verdict In Death Of An Inmate

Maryland State Police News Release


(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III commended the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit today for a five-year criminal investigation which culminated in a guilty verdict for the individual ultimately responsible for ordering the death of an inmate in 2016.

The convicted is identified as Joseph Leissler, 52, an inmate at Jessup Correctional Institution. Leissler was found guilty of first- and second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, gang participation by causing the death of another and supervising a gang.  The announcement was made on August 23, 2021 after an Anne Arundel County jury found Leissler guilty on all charges.

“The hard work, dedication and persistence demonstrated by investigators of the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit went beyond the initial murder investigation and were key in securing a conviction of the individual responsible for ordering the death of an inmate,” said Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

The initial investigation began in August 2016 with the murder of John O’Sullivan, a 43-year-old inmate at Jessup Correctional Institution.  O’Sullivan was found stabbed to death leaving the showers in an unprovoked attack. A thorough investigation by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit revealed three suspects in the case, all of whom were charged in 2016 and later convicted in 2020. The accused, identified as Brian Hare, Vincent Bunner and Calvin Lochner were all found to be members of the Aryan Brotherhood. 

Information gleaned from the initial murder investigation revealed the 2016 murder had been ordered by the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood in Maryland, identified as Leissler. The order was to kill O’Sullivan, a member of a rival gang Dead Man, Inc.  Investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit continued with the investigation, investing hundreds of hours interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and working with confidential sources of information to yield an extremely successful case.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit worked tirelessly with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Department of Corrections Intelligence Unit on the five-year investigation. The valuable assistance received from the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Office ultimately resulted in the successful prosecution of this case.


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