Elk­ton man gets 15 years for same-day rob­beries

Cecil Whig - - OPINION - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man who robbed two peo­ple at gun­point within 20 min­utes of each other — one near

ELK­TON

North East, the other near Elk­ton — re­ceived a 15year prison term Fri­day.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge Brenda A. Sex­ton im­posed a 15-year sen­tence on Elk­ton res­i­dent Lorenzo Mishaad Jones, 26, for an armed rob­bery con­vic­tion stem­ming from an in­ci­dent in Lake­side Mo­bile Home Park near North East on Aug. 3, 2015.

Jones robbed a man, a stranger to him, on the street of that neigh­bor­hood af­ter bran­dish­ing a hand­gun and strik­ing him in the head with it.

In Fe­bru­ary, af­ter a three­day trial, a jury found Jones guilty of armed rob­bery, rob­bery, first-de­gree as­sault and sec­ond-de­gree as­sault. The rob­bery con­vic­tion merged into armed rob­bery con­vic­tion, and the sec­ond-de­gree as­sault con­vic­tion merged into the first-de­gree as­sault con­vic­tion.

As part of Fri­day’s sen­tence, the judge or­dered Jones to serve five years of su­per­vised pro­ba­tion af­ter com­plet­ing his 15-year term, which he will serve in a Mary­land Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions prison.

Sex­ton also im­posed a sus­pended five-year sen­tence on Jones, mak­ing it con­sec­u­tive to the 15year penalty, for a sec­ond­de­gree as­sault con­vic­tion stem­ming from the sec­ond in­ci­dent. It also oc­curred on Aug. 3, 2015, about 20 min­utes af­ter the armed rob­bery near North East.

In that in­ci­dent, Jones ap­proached a woman, also a stranger to him, in the area of Land­ing Lane near Elk­ton, bran­dished a hand­gun and robbed her.

Within a week af­ter the jury had con­victed him in the Lake­side Mo­bile Home Park in­ci­dent, Jones pleaded guilty to sec­ond-de­gree as­sault in the Elk­ton in­ci­dent. Prose­cu­tors, in ex­change, dropped re­lated charges.

Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­ga­tors were able to iden­tify Jones as the sus­pect and cap­ture him shortly af­ter the two in­ci­dents oc­curred, prose­cu­tors reported.

Both vic­tims were able to de­scribe Jones’ phys­i­cal fea­tures, which in­cluded “dis­tinc­tive dread­locks,” and they were able de­scribe the ve­hi­cle in which Jones sped away, prose­cu­tors said. More­over, prose­cu­tors added, eye­wit­nesses were able to re­port the li­cense plate on that ve­hi­cle to de­tec­tives.

Dur­ing Fri­day’s hear­ing, As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Amanda Bes­sicks sought 15 years of in­car­cer­a­tion for Jones, specif­i­cally rec­om­mend­ing a 20-year sen­tence with five years sus­pended. Bes­sicks had pros­e­cuted Jones dur­ing the jury trial and ne­go­ti­ated the plea agree­ment in his other crim­i­nal case.

“These were ran­dom crimes. The vic­tims didn’t know him,” Bes­sicks told the judge. “A mes­sage needs to be sent that ran­dom acts against cit­i­zens will not be tol­er­ated.”

Jones’ lawyer, As­sis­tant Pub­lic De­fender Thomas Klenk, told the judge that he be­lieved seven and a half years would be a suit­able pe­riod of in­car­cer­a­tion for his client. Klenk had rec­om­mended a 15-year sen­tence with half sus­pended and noted that in­mates with such con­vic­tions typ­i­cally serve about 80 per­cent of their terms.

“He is very bright. He is re­ha­bil­i­tat­able,” Klenk said of Jones.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MSP

Police con­fis­cated bag­gies of heroin and other ev­i­dence dur­ing a traf­fic stop near North East.

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