Mur­derer sen­tenced to two life sen­tences

Shot a Wal­dorf cou­ple walk­ing their dog in 2012

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

A man who pleaded guilty to shoot­ing a Wal- dorf cou­ple, killing one, as they walked their dog through a neigh­bor­hood in 2012 was ut­terly un­apolo­getic dur­ing his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing on Fri­day, calmly de­scrib­ing him­self as a sa­tanist.

Joshua Ter­rell Me­bane, 21, re­ceived two con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences for the first-de­gree mur­der of Teresa Bass, at­tempted mur­der of her hus­band Jerry Bass Jr., and an ad­di­tional 20 years for use

of a firearm in the com- mis­sion of a crime of vi­o­lence.

On the evening of Oct. 26, 2012, of­fi­cers work­ing se­cu­rity at a nearby West- lake High School foot­ball game heard sev­eral gun­shots and re­sponded to the scene within a minute, where they found the cou­ple that had been shot, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease. Both were taken to the hos­pi­tal, but Teresa later died from her in­juries. Jerry, who had been shot nu­mer­ous times in the back, was at one point listed in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, but he sur­vived.

The rea­son it took so long for Me­bane to be brought to Charles County was be­cause he was be­ing tried in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., for fa­tally shoot­ing a taxi driver. Af­ter Me­bane was found guilty of first-de­gree mur­der and sen­tenced to 45 years im- pris­on­ment for shoot­ing the taxi driver in the back of the head, he spent a stint at a fed­eral pen­i­ten­tiary in Terre Haute, Ind., be­fore he was ex­tra­dited to Charles County in Septem­ber.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive Judge Amy Bra­gu­nier of the Charles County Cir­cuit Court handed down the sen­tence af­ter hear­ing im­pact state­ments from Jerry and Teresa’s brother. As­sis­tant state’s at- tor­ney Tif­fany Camp­bell also told the court about Me­bane’s vi­o­lent ten­den­cies in jail, as­sault­ing other in­mates and cor­rec- tional staff.

Rep­re­sented by pub­lic de­fender Michael Beach, Me­bane was es­corted in by seven court se­cu­rity of­fi­cers who stood close by him dur­ing pro­ceed­ings.

Me­bane re­quested to dis­charge coun­sel, stat- ing “my at­tor­ney and I can’t seem to agree” on any­thing.

Beach then ex­plained that he did not agree with Me­bane tak­ing the guilty plea, and that they “had a very vi­able de­fense that we are now shut­ting down.” Me­bane had pre­vi­ously en­tered a plea of not crim­i­nally re­sponsi- ble.

“Mr. Me­bane never had a chance to have a fair trial,” Beach said, adding that he had pre­vi­ously over­heard some­one in the court­house re­fer to him as “Hannibal Lecter.”

Beach con­tin­ued to rep­re­sent him through the hear­ing, as Me­bane would have the op­por- tu­nity af­ter­wards to ad­dress the court and re­fute any­thing he did not agree with.

“This de­fen­dant is de­serv­ing of no mercy,” Charles County State’s At­tor­ney An­thony Cov­ing­ton (D) told Bra­gu­nier as he asked for the max- imum sen­tence. “This man has some­thing in him, some­thing evil” and he strikes out when­ever he wants.

Jerry Bass Jr. told the court of his har­row­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Jerry said he never felt threat­ened by Me­bane, and even said hello as the cou­ple walked past him on the trail. When he glanced over his shoul­der again, Jerry no­ticed Me­bane was get­ting closer to them, and “un­pro­voked, he started fir­ing his hand­gun at us,” he said.

“With my guts lit­er­ally hang­ing out” I had to watch my wife choke on her own blood, Jerry said. Teresa was a reg­is­tered nurse and a “kind, af­fec­tion­ate and lov­ing” mother of four, he added.

As­sis­tant state’s at­tor-

ney Tif­fany Camp­bell told Bra­gu­nier that Me­bane’s cell­mate at the Terre Haute pen­i­ten­tia- ry was found dead with “post-mortem carv­ings” in his body.

When given his chance to speak, Me­bane showed no re­morse, and even claimed to en­joy killing. “The only thing I’ve ever de­sired to take from any­one was their life,” he be­gan, adding that he gets emo­tional and phys­i­cal sat­is­fac­tion from it, that Teresa Bass was just the type of vic­tim he was look­ing for that night, and that all his vic- tims, dead or alive, “mean noth­ing to me.”

Of his pre­vi­ous plea of not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble, he said he had “will­ingly at­tempted to de­ceive this court by pre­tend­ing to be men­tally ill.”

Me­bane also ac­knowl- edged that he has charges pend­ing against him in Terre Haute for killing his cell­mate as a “sa­tanic sac­ri­fice.”

Af­ter hear­ing his chill- ing decla­ma­tion, Bra­gu­nier sen­tenced him to the full ex­tent al­lowed in this case. “The only sen­tence I think is ap­pro­pri­ate and just,” she said.

A former fire­fighter in Mont­gomery County, Jerry Bass Jr. spoke of his lov­ing wife af­ter the hear­ing.

“She was just a beau­ti­ful per­son,” he said. “The world is short one great per­son.”

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