Woman, 65, gets eight years for selling $100 of cocaine
ELKTON — A woman caught selling $100 of crack cocaine to a customer on a street in downtown Perryville in September — one month after she was placed on supervised probation in an unrelated drug case — received an eight-year prison term on Thursday.
Retired Visiting Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul M. Bowman imposed a 20year sentence on the defendant, Terry Lucinda Hockaday, 65, of Port Deposit, for a distribution-of-cocaine conviction and then suspended 12 years of it. The judge ordered Hockaday to serve five years of supervised probation upon her prison release.
Hockaday will serve her eight-year term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison. Free on a $10,000 bond at the time of Thursday’s sentencing, Hockadway was taken into custody in the courtroom immediately after the hearing.
In February, after deliberating less than 15 minutes at the conclusion of a one-day trial, a Cecil County Circuit Court jury found Hockaday guilty of that distribution of cocaine charge.
Bowman’s sentence exceeded a recommendation made by Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Sentman, who sought five years of incarceration for Hockaday. Sentman specifically recommended a 10-year sentence, with five years suspended. State sentencing guidelines, which are based on a defendant’s criminal record and other factors, set a penalty range of four to eight years of active incarceration for Hockaday.
Hockaday’s assistant public defender, Edwin B. Fockler IV, had requested a one-year term that Hockaday could serve on home detention. Fockler specifically recommended a four-year sentence, with three years of it suspended.
Addressing the judge before sentencing, Hockaday said she helps provide care for her mother, who has health issues and lives near her. Hockaday also told Bowman that she completed a drug rehabilitation program after her September arrest and that she has changed her life for the better.
Shortly after Thursday’s sentencing, Fockler filed an application for a sentence review by a three-judge panel, which would not include Bowman, and a motion for modification of sentence, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
Perryville Police Department officers arrested Hockaday on Sept. 29, after responding to an anonymous tip concerning Hockaday selling drugs in that town, police said. For a few weeks before her arrest, police added, Hockaday had been the focal point of an ongoing investigation into drug distribution in town.
“The Perryville Police Department had received numer- ous tips over the past month regarding the sales and distribution of CDS (illegal drugs), specifically crack cocaine, from the 500 block of Aiken Avenue, involving the Hockaday subject,” PPD Cpl. Robert Nitz explained at the time.
Two PPD officers responded to the 500 block of Aiken Avenue on Sept. 29, after receiving a tip concerning a drug deal in progress, police said. Conducting surveillance, the officers saw Hockaday “engage in a ‘hand-tohand’ transaction” with a man, police added.
After witnessing the drug deal, the officers approached Hockaday and the man, police reported.
“Upon making contact with the man, he dropped the (crack cocaine), advised that it was next to him and stated, ‘You got me.’ (He) identified Hockaday as the subject who had just sold him the (crack cocaine) and that he had given her a $100 bill,” Nitz outlined.
Officers then searched Hockaday, finding and confiscating a $100 bill, as well as an additional $156 “in varying denominations indicative of drug sales and transactions,” according to police.
On August 14, about seven weeks before her arrest in the Perryville case, Hockaday had received a suspended two-year sentence and was placed on two years of supervised probation, after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled and dangerous substance (illegal drugs) and theft — both offenses stemming from a Dec. 23, 2016 incident, court records show.