Murderer sentenced to two life sentences
Shot a Waldorf couple walking their dog in 2012
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.”