Elkton Man gets 30 months for robbery
— A man received a 30-month prison term Monday for his role in robbing four people at gunpoint inside an Elkton-area home.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Jane Cairns Murray imposed the twoand-a-half-year sentence on Elkton-area resident Markuise Davon Gray, 22, after he pleaded guilty to robbery, as part of a binding plea agreement negotiated by Deputy State’s Attorney Steven L. Trostle and the defendant’s Baltimore-based lawyer, Gil S. Amaral.
Gray will serve his term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
Also part of the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped armed robbery, home invasion and 12 other charges against Gray.
Amaral told the judge that his client had no criminal record before this incident — one in which Gray and another masked gunmen, Jerry Robert Catchings, then 17, barged into a residence in the 100 block of Courtney Drive near Elkton about 12:30 a.m. on March 25, 2015 and forced the occupants — two men and two women — to lay on the floor.
While the victims were prone, the duo and an accomplice who served as a setup man — Jevon Wesley Mills, 19, of the 100 block of Pheasant Drive near Elkton — stole $80 and approximately $2,000 worth of property, police reported.
“This is a case of young person making a bad decision that will affect him in a dramatic way,” Amaral told the judge.
The defense lawyer maintained that Gray’s participation in the robbery, which he opined wasn’t well planned, was out of character for his client. Amaral contended that Gray has no proclivity for violence and crime in general.
Catchings, who had a minor criminal record before participating in the home-invasion-style holdup, received a three-year sentence in February after he too pleaded guilty to robbery as part of a plea deal.
Mills, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery, received a two-year prison term in December. Specifically, the judge imposed a 10-year sentence with eight years suspended and ordered him to serve four years of supervised probation after his prison release.
The robbery victims, who were acquainted with some of the defendants, did not want to cooperate with police and prosecutors, according to Trostle. That reluctance had a bearing on the plea deals offered, he noted.
“Ordinarily, we would seek more jail time in a case like this, but we had some resistance from some of the victims,” Trostle said.
Despite the victims’ resistance to cooperate, Maryland State Police Tfc. Alan Flaugher, lead investigator, and other detectives were able to develop Gray, Catchings and Mills as suspects and arrest them, Trostle noted.
“But for the hard work of the investigators in this case, we may never have known who the culprits were. The troopers did a great job solving this case,” Trostle said.
Flaugher was able to place Gray at the crime scene through communications on Mills’ Facebook account, according to court records, which identify Mills and Gray as cousins.
MSP detectives also were able to directly link Gray to one piece of the stolen property — a Sony Playstation 4 that Gray sold to GameStop two weeks after the robbery, police said. The serial number on the Playstation that Gray sold matched the serial number on the one stolen during the robbery, police added.
Investigators arrested Gray on May 19, about seven weeks after the robbery and some 19 days after MSP detectives took Mills into custody, police reported. On Monday, the judge gave Mills credit for 49 days that he served in the county jail before posting bond.
Investigators were able to identify Mills using information provided by the victims, who were acquainted with Mills enough to know him only as “Jae,” court records show.
Shortly before the home invasion, the four victims saw Mills standing in the parking lot in front of the Courtney Drive residence, and he told them that he was waiting for his cousin, police said.
Moments later, Mills knocked on the door and asked if he could wait for his cousin inside the home, and the victims obliged, police added.
Mills, who seemed “nervous” and was “acting suspiciously,” left the residence to get his cellphone, according to court records. Within a few minutes after Mills returned, the two masked gunmen barged into the residence and, with his help, robbed the four residents, police reported.