Mur­derer sen­tenced to life

Bush con­victed of stab­bing Southamp­ton woman near home

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By JOHN WHARTON jwhar­ton@somd­

A judge sen­tenced Pa­trick Henry Bush on Thurs­day to life in prison with­out pa­role on a con­vic­tion for first-de­gree mur­der in the stab­bing death last year of Ce­celia Dar­lene Stubbs out­side her Southamp­ton home.

“All you had to do was give me $5,000,” Bush said to Stubbs’ fam­ily mem­bers sit­ting in the court­room, after her sis­ter-in-law tes­ti­fied about their loss.

“Now you have that on your con­science,” Bush con­tin­ued. “Blame this on your­selves. Now look what you have to deal with.”

Dur­ing Bush’s trial last June, St. Mary’s As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Buffy Gid­dens said that Stubbs, a 50-year-old care­taker for el­derly peo­ple, made two “dy­ing dec­la­ra­tions” to two dif­fer­ent peo­ple that Bush was her as­sailant, as they tried to help her after he had stabbed her 33 times.

Bush also drove over­top of Stubbs with her car be­fore leav­ing the scene, the pros­e­cu­tor said, and wit­ness tes­ti­mony in­cluded ev­i­dence that Stubbs’ blood was on a knife found in the car when Bush was ar­rested.

On Thurs­day, Gid­dens ask that Bush re­ceive the max­i­mum al­lowed penalty for his crime.

“Where there is no re­morse,” the pros­e­cu­tor said, “there is no no hope for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.”

Bush, a 51-year-old for­mer Wal­dorf res­i­dent, tes­ti­fied at his trial that some­one else killed Stubbs, and that ev­i­dence that he was try­ing to get back money he had loaned to Stubbs was a ruse, one he cre­ated to con­ceal their re­la­tion­ship from a more re­cent girl­friend. Bush said that he was an overnight guest at Stubbs’ home be­fore he wit­nessed an un­known as­sailant at­tack her in her yard,

and that he drove away in her car after grab­bing the knife.

Bush chose to stand trial with­out a jury, and put him­self on the wit­ness stand with­out a lawyer, at the pro­ceed­ing where St. Mary’s Cir­cuit Judge David W. Dens­ford con­victed him of the July 2016 of­fense.

“His de­fense was that he didn’t do it,” the judge said Thurs­day. “That didn’t ring true. What rings true is he doesn’t care.”

In ad­di­tion to the life prison term, Bush was sen­tenced to an ad­di­tional 35 years for rob­bing Stubbs of her keys and the theft of her car. The judge’s words were fol­lowed by hand­clap­ping among the mem­bers of Stubb’s fam­ily.

Do­minic Pendle­ton, an adult son of the slain woman, at­tended Thurs­day’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing.

“I’m just glad it’s over with. We’ve got a lit­tle bit of clo­sure,” Pendle­ton said as he stood out­side the court­room, wear­ing a shirt with the words “Team Stubbs life­time mem­ber.”

“My mother fi­nally got jus­tice,” he said. “It’s not go­ing to bring her back, but we got a lit­tle bit of peace.”


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