- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Waldorf teenager charged with committing the double-shooting homicide that left a Hampshire woman dead and her husband clinging to life Oct. 26 has been indicted for murder, but Charles County’s chief prosecutor does not expect to have the suspected gunman in court until summer at the earliest.
Joshua Terrell Mebane, 17, was indicted Monday on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, multiple counts of using a handgun in commission of a violent crime and possession of a handgun by a person younger than 21.
He is suspected of having shot and killed Teresa Ann Bass and of shooting and critically wounding her husband, Jerry Bass Jr., as the couple walked their dog along a path linking the Waldorf neighborhood and Westlake High School’s baseball field.
If convicted on all counts, Mebane faces two life sentences plus 68 years in prison.
Mebane currently is imprisoned in Washington, D.C., where he is charged with murdering a District cab driver Nov. 7.
Officers working security at the Westlake-Great Mills football game the night of the Hampshire shooting were on the scene within a minute after hearing the gunshots.
Teresa Bass, a nurse at Genesis HealthCare, La Plata Center, died at the hospital. Jerry Bass Jr., a career Montgomery County firefighter, was at one point listed in critical condition with several gunshot wounds to his back, according to his father, but he recovered.
On Nov. 7, the Hampshire community held a forum so that Charles County law enforcement could update residents on the investigation.
As the forum was coming to a close, D.C. police were notified of a burning taxi behind a high school in Northwest Washington.
Officers found the taxi driver, later identified as Quader Muhammed, dead inside the cab, shot once through the back of the head.
Two days later, Baltimore County police received a tip that Parkton resident Linda Bury, 17, had told some friends that she and Mebane, whom she’d been dating for one week, had robbed and killed a D.C. cab driver.
Bury confessed to the killing, stating the intent was to rob the driver because she and Mebane were short on cash.
Another tip indicated that Mebane might have been involved in the Hampshire shooting, and District officers notified Charles County detectives.
Officers found evidence at Mebane’s Hampshire residence linking him to the crime scene, including a black handgun that the Prince George’s County Police Department’s forensics unit later tied to the Waldorf crime scene.
“Since the District currently has Mr. Mebane in their jail for an equally serious case, they will prosecute their case first,” Charles County State’s Attorney Anthony B. Covington (D) said in a news release announcing the indictment. “As soon as his guilt or innocence has been determined in D.C., he will be brought to Charles County to stand trial on our charges. I am probably being overly optimistic, but I am hoping to have Mr. Mebane in Charles County around summer time.”
Mebane is scheduled to appear in D.C. court March 15 for a status conference on his case.
Covington said in a follow-up interview that he would try to have Mebane brought to the county for preliminary hearings prior to his trial in the District but conceded it was unlikely the District would allow it.
Covington added that the evidence in the case currently does not meet the threshold needed to pursue the death penalty.
“Unless new facts emerge, this case does not meet the legal criteria that would allow the [c]ourt to impose the death penalty,” Covington said in the release. “So, obviously, I would not seek a penalty that the law would not allow.”