A 31-year-old man will spend his life in prison, but will have a chance for parole after being convicted of the first-degree murder of a man in December 2012.
The murder occurred in Glen Burnie, Maryland, outside of a bar called Dietrich’s Tavern. According to the prosecution, the murder was premeditated and happened because the defendant felt as though he was repeatedly disrespected.
The victim was shot in the back, and prosecutors say the 31-year-old was trying to run away. The maximum sentence was requested due to the “vicious and heinous nature” of the crime and the fact that the defendant has a prior record.
The defense said that victim was shot in self-defense due to an attempt to extort the defendant. The judge said that the murder was premeditated, but also said that she really does believe the defendant was afraid and that he acted in self-defense. Because the defendant had no violent crimes on his record, the judge didn’t feel that a life sentence without the chance of parole was appropriate.
The man was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, 20 years, with 15 years suspended without the possibility of parole, for using a firearm during the violent crime, and 15 years, with 10 suspended, for possessing a firearm as a felon. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
The penalty of life in prison can quickly make you feel hopeless when charged with murder. However, not every first-degree murder charge will result in a conviction. Remember that in order to be convicted, the judge or jury must believe you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will work with you to develop a legal strategy that will suit the facts of the case.
Source: Capital Gazette, “Man sentenced to life in prison for 2012 Glen Burnie murder,” Lauren Loricchio, April 18, 2016
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