- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A judge sentenced a Hollywood teenager on Friday to serve one year in jail from his guilty pleas to a burglary conspiracy, a credit card offense and threatening another judge earlier this year, a crime that prosecutors allege was carried out on Facebook.
Jake Christoper Horn, 19, was given credit for 154 days already served while in custody at the St. Mary’s jail, and he was given work-release privileges and a chance at having his sentence reconsidered before the end-of-year holiday season.
A purported printout in May from Horn’s page on the social networking website included his comment: “I feel like killin the judge and state attorney at the same damn time,” a comment that St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard D. Fritz later said was inferred as directed toward the jurist who heard Horn’s original guilty plea to the credit card offense, Circuit Judge Karen H. Abrams.
Fritz said that his assistant prosecutor who handled the case, Daniel White, isn’t protected by the threats statute.
“I’ve had worse things said about me,” White said at the sentencing hearing, where Horn was ordered not to use any social media during five years of supervised probation.
Daniel Slade, Horn’s lawyer, said his client would apologize for his online conduct.
“He can write a pretty nice letter to Judge Abrams,” Slade said. “He was a young male with a chip on his shoulder. I’ve seen this young man change. That [154 days in jail] is the most humbling experience of my client’s life.”
Horn’s other guilty pleas were to illegally using a former employer’s credit card and conspiring to commit a first-degree burglary last November at a neighbor’s residence. The prosecutor said a firearm among the items taken during the burglary has not been recovered, but that Horn has disclosed all he knows about their whereabouts.
The teenager expressed his gratitude in court to the authorities who agreed to his plea deal with a sentence in the local jail, “instead of ruining my life, which they could have done.”
“If your life was going to be ruined,” visiting Prince George’s Circuit Judge Sean Wallace said, “it was going to be ruined by nobody but you. You need to grow up. You’re not a kid anymore.”
The judge added, “The things you did in this case were stupid,” including using the credit card while being videotaped, boasting to other people about the burglary and putting the threatening comment online.
“You posted it for the whole world to see,” the judge said. “It appears you turned your brain off for four or five years.” The judge told Horn he faces nine years in prison, the suspended portion of his sentence in the burglary conspiracy, if he violates his probation. “That’s really not a nice place,” the judge said.