The first of three individuals accused of entering an apartment in Lexington Park in August and attacking two roommates was sentenced to 18 months, suspended down to 60 days of incarceration and two years of supervised probation after making a plea to second-degree assault.
In August, Cassidy Irene Howard, 19, of Lexington Park, and Tevin Greer, 25, were arrested and later released on charges that allege they entered Carmen Hancock and Blake Howard’s residence off Willows Drive as Blake Howard returned from work and assaulted the roommates due to a dispute over a man.
A statement of probable cause by Deputy Kyle Kilgore of the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office said that Blake Howard was returning to the apartment and was followed by a crowd, and that Cassidy Howard and Greer “forced entry into the residence,” then assaulting Blake Howard and Hancock. Descriptions of the crowd’s size ranged from 10 to 30 people, according to the charging document.
Cassidy Howard entered an Alford plea to the charge of second-degree assault on Hancock, according to her lawyer, Kevin McDevitt, who said that Cassidy Howard “adamantly denies” she assaulted Hancock, that she entered the apartment or that she went onto the second floor of the complex, where the assault allegedly occurred. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgement that prosecutors have evidence to support a charge.
“She did not go there to assault this person,” McDevitt said in court. “She did not intend to cause any injury.”
Cassidy Howard is attending anger management classes with Southern Maryland Family Advocacy, according to her lawyer.
“Both of the ladies were assaulted, both of them went to the hospital,” Assistant State’s Attorney Buffy Giddens said in court. She added that Blake Howard was two months pregnant at the time of the assault.
Giddens said that Blake Howard was in the hospital for one week following the incident, and moved out of the apartment. “She no longer feels safe,” Giddens said.
“The court finds that Mrs. Howard went to [Hancock’s] home to assault her,” St. Mary’s District Judge Christy Holt Chesser said in court. Chesser sentenced Cassidy Howard to 18 months, suspended to 60 days in the detention center with work and class release. Chesser also ordered her to have no contact with Hancock or Blake Howard, and ordered for her to pay $1,814 in restitution to the roommates.
Greer and a new suspect, Erin Battle, 25, were indicted by a St. Mary’s grand jury earlier this month for allegedly being involved in the incident. Both are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 4.