Mary Lynn Keyes doesn’t remember much of what happened on April 11 when she was attacked and robbed while she was getting her mail.
But in court on Thursday, facing Elwood Martin, who pleaded guilty to the assault and to robbing other Germantown women earlier this year, she recounted what she could recall: an arm coming up behind her, the force of the attack, the same dizzying, spinning sensation that she felt as a six-year-old when she almost drowned.
“My attacker set no boundaries, placed no limit on the injuries he inflicted — the damage only limited by the fact that he got what he wanted quickly,” she said.
Prosecutors say Keyes, 58, of Germantown, was one of seven women who were victims of robberies, thefts, or attempted thefts and robberies by Martin earlier this year. Martin pleaded guilty to theft, assault and robbery in those cases in July.
On Thursday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Paul H. Weinstein sentenced Martin to 14 years in prison, suspending an additional 31 years, as well as ordering him to serve five years of probation after his release from jail and undergo drug treatment.
Police tied Martin, 29, to many of the crimes, in part because he was a homeless sex offender and had to wear an ankle bracelet so he could be monitored. Along with other evidence brought against him, the ankle bracelet placed him in the vicinity of where the crimes occurred, Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Chaikin said.
Shortly before sentencing Martin, Weinstein told the victims, “He probably never had a shot from the day he was born.”
“I get frustrated seeing people like Mr. Martin,” he said. “I have to send him to jail.”
In some cases, Martin took women’s purses without actually assaulting them, but in two of the cases, the crimes involved force. In Keyes’ case, it was a brutal attack that left her sitting in a pile of her mail, spattered with her blood, thinking Martin was going to kill her.
“Oh my God, I could die,” Keyes remembered thinking, she said, in an interview.
The attack left her with a long cut inside her mouth which had to be stitched up, and nerve damage, she said. She also had a cut above her eye that went to the bone, and a wrenched shoulder. Months after the attack, the pain still hasn’t disappeared, she said.
Those were just some of the physical injuries — now, she talks to herself to give herself courage in the dark, and locks the doors as soon as she gets in her car.
Adam Harris, Martin’s public defender, said that Martin’s crimes stemmed from a lifetime of drug addiction.
“The only thing on his mind was getting high,” Harris said. He had asked Weinstein to sentence Martin to 10 years in prison. “The world of drugs was the world he knew,” Harris said.
When he spoke, Martin apologized to three of the women he robbed or tried to rob who were at the sentencing. He said he first began smoking marijuana when he was 12, continuing until he was 18, when he also began using PCP and cocaine.
“I know I hurt people. I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to my family. I don’t know how much good it’s going to do, but I’m sorry,” said Martin, a slim, bearded man with a short afro.