MURDER USA: Ijaaz Butler and his treasure hunters will have to do their next home invasions in prison; his gang of goofballs awaits last gang member to join them in the slammer

MURDER USA: Ijaaz Butler and his treasure hunters will have to do their next home invasions in prison; his gang of goofballs awaits last gang member to join them in the slammer

LAPLATA, MD. – There are three fewer home invaders hanging around Homette Place in Waldorf or haunting the Chesapeake Ranch Estates, due to recent convictions in Charles County Circuit Court while the fourth in the gang awaits trial in Calvert County.

March of 2018 was a big time for Ijaaz Butler and his gang as they committed two home invasions in the region looking for a sum of money, which they had reason to expect was sizable. Perhaps the victims had won the lottery, inherited money from a Nigerian Uncle or had a very successful yard sale.

In one in Charles County, the gang did their best to beat a woman to death and then doused her with gasoline. It was only because their getaway driver Brandy Deluca was incompetent and struck a mailbox, gaining the attention of a Charles County Patrol Officer, that they didn’t get away scot free.

Charles County States Attorney Tony Covington reports that on Monday, April 29, 2019, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier sentenced Ijaaz Butler, 26, of 2386 Ross Road, St. Leonard, Md., to 12 years in prison for Home Invasion and Conspiracy to Commit Home Invasion. The sentence imposed in Charles County Circuit Court will run consecutive to a 12-year sentence previously imposed for a similar crime in Calvert County, for a total of 24 years in prison.


On March 19, 2018, officers responded to the 2821 Homette Place in Waldorf for the report of a home invasion. Charles County Sheriff Patrol Officers spoke with victim Melissa Diane Lewis, who had visible injuries. Lewis stated that two male suspects forced entry into her home, assaulted her, and demanded money.

Police say that Lewis received a large sum of money prior to the home invasion. On the day of the incident, the victim was asleep on a couch in her home when Butler and the other male suspect, who the victim later identified as co-defendant William Gary Edwards, of 1921 Peace Court, Saint Leonard, Md., entered with their faces partially covered. Butler and Edwards physically assaulted the victim and asked her where the money was located; however, the victim refused to reveal where it was. The victim’s three young children were also present inside of the residence. While ransacking the home, Butler banged on the door of the children’s rooms while the victim was being held down by Edwards.

After a few minutes inside the residence, police say that Butler and Edwards dragged the victim outside to search her vehicle. While outside, they assaulted the victim – to include dousing her with gasoline – until she was unconscious. Butler and Edwards then fled in a getaway vehicle operated by co-defendant Brandy Lynn Deluca, of 13982 Wetherburn Street, Waldorf, Md.


Shortly after leaving, Deluca hit a mailbox and was stopped by an officer for a traffic violation. It was discovered during the stop that the occupants of the vehicle were involved in the home invasion. All three suspects, including Butler, were subsequently apprehended.

During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney John A. Stackhouse, asking for the maximum consecutive sentence, told the judge that he hopes the victim “can feel safe again in her own home with her kids” after the terrifying incident.

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, co-defendant Brandy Deluca was sentenced by Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West to seven years in prison.Br

Covington, in a statement posted on the States Attorney website, commenting on the sentence, said, “Seven years is a long time for giving some folks a ride. Let this be a lesson to those that are willing to get involved in dangerous activity. You will be held accountable for every crime your cohorts commit. Unfortunately for Ms. Deluca, she is finding this out the hard way.”

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, co-defendant William Gary Edwards was also sentenced by Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West to 10 years in prison, consecutive to a 2-year sentence previously imposed for a similar crime in Calvert County, for a total of 12 years in prison.

Melissa Diane Lewis on May 8, 2019 was awarded restitution in the amount of $3,216.97 from Butler and from Deluca in a civil action in Charles County Circuit Court. The judgement was also recorded with Parole and Probation, perhaps that Lewis’s attackers will quickly be released from prison so they can resume their criminal careers and earn enough money selling drugs or whatever they choose in order to pay her the restitution for the damages they caused during the home invasion.


On March 16, 2018 at approximately 3:10 am, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office patrol units responded to 959 Golden West Way in the Lusby area of Calvert County, Maryland, for the report of a home invasion.  Det. Mudd of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau was notified of the Home Invasion and responded promptly to begin the investigation.

Det. Mudd’s on-scene investigation revealed that the victim, Melissa Diane Harris, was awoken from her sleep at approximately 3:00 am.  She stated two light-skinned black males, approximately 20-40 years in age, wearing what appeared to be all black masks covering their faces kicked in the front door to her residence wielding what she recognized to be shotguns.  The two masked intruders then went directly to her bedroom and asked her “Where’s Timothy or T-Bo”.  Ms. Harris’ believed that they were referring to her ex-husband.  Ms. Harris stated that she does not live with him and the intruders left without taking anything from the home.

Crime Scene Technician Jan Veeder arrived on the scene to gather evidence and to photograph the scene.  Det. Buck teamed up with Det. Mudd and Det. Jernigan and Calvert Sheriff’s commanders say they worked diligently to solve this case. 

Several investigative leads were developed which led detectives to suspects and detectives applied for several search warrants and conducted many interviews. 

Video surveillance from several cameras was reviewed, forensic downloads were performed, and numerous items of evidence were gathered, say police.

Three Gangsters charged and two of them now convicted:  

  • William Gary Edwards (W/M, DOB: 11-10-1999) who is incarcerated at the Hagerstown Maryland Correctional Training Center. 
  • Ijaaz Butler (B/M, DOB: 07-04-1992) who is also incarcerated in the Maryland Prison at the Maryland Prison Reception & Classification Center where he will be provided a welcome package of stick-on tattoos and lipstick in Bubba’s favorite flavor.
  • Demar Rynell Mason (B/M, DOB: 06-16-1983) formerly resided in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lusby. Indicted in June of 2018 on five counts of burglary, assault, and home invasion, Mason has yet to come to trial as of June 10, 2019, when a request for discovery was filed in Calvert County Circuit Court by criminal defense attorney Elizabeth L. Franzoso, of Bowie, Md. After four postponements, the trial has been set for July 24, 2019. In the meantime, Mason has been free on a $50,000 bond since April 20, 2018.  On Dec. 29, 2014, Mason entered a guilty plea to DWI in Calvert County District Court in a plea deal with Calvert States Attorney Laura Martin. THE DEAL: 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended and a verdict of Probation Before Judgement along with a fine of $100.
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