A judge sentenced Victor John Lee Scottland to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing a woman at an ATM with a CO2 pellet gun.
Scottland, 30, of Ridge pleaded guilty to robbery in April. He was arrested last December after robbing a woman of $20 after she withdrew the money from an ATM at the location of a small shopping center off Point Lookout Road.
Scottland had been consuming alcohol since 9 a.m. that morning, and had consumed two bars of Xanax, according to his defense. A letter from the victim noted that Scottland had pointed a CO2 pellet gun, which the victim believed was a real weapon, at the victim and demanded her to give him all of the money that she had.
“A law-abiding citizen was going to the ATM, pulling out her last $20 to buy her children lunch, and he jumped out of the bushes and pointed what she thought was a gun at her,” St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) said during Wednesday’s court sentencing. “This is the kind of case that makes us afraid to walk down the street.”
“He led her to believe that the end of her life was one pull of a trigger away,” Judge David W. Densford said in court.
Sean Moran, Scottland’s public defender, noted on Wednesday that since his arrest Scottland has been on medication and “doing what he’s supposed to be doing at the detention center.
“Mr. Scottland is respectful, polite and very soft spoken” when he is being medicated and is avoiding illegal drugs, Moran said. “He took responsibility for his actions, he wants to do the right thing.”
According to Moran, Scottland was “abused daily until he was 16 years old” and has been drinking frequently since he was 12. Moran also said that Scottland copes with several mental illnesses, and that his behavior is a “symptom” of the abuse he has suffered. Scottland has started a substance abuse program since being admitted to the detention center.
Citing Scottland’s criminal history, Fritz said that Scottland “not only has an extensive background and history of violence, he’s at the end of the chain.” Scottland has been faced with a series of burglary and assault charges since 2007.
“I’m giving you every day of a 15-year sentence,” Densford said. “If [Scottland] does as well as he did in the detention center, we could scale that back.”
Scottland’s sentence could be cut down if he stays “medicated, sober and straight” in prison, Densford said in court. “If you mess up, you will do the whole 15 years.”
In court, Scottland was “a very different person … than the person who robbed this lady,” Densford said after the sentencing. “Victor Scottland could be a success story, but he has a very, very long road ahead.”