A Lexington Park woman was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for robbing a group of men outside a residence off Great Mills Road.

Mariah Breann Haley, 23, was indicted last November for a robbery that occurred in September of last year, and turned herself in on Dec. 20. She pleaded guilty to a charge of armed robbery in April.

“There were certain Hispanic members of the community sitting on their porch,” State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) said at the sentencing hearing on Friday. “Ms. Haley out of nowhere came up with a handgun and attempted to rob them.”

Video surveillance shown to prosecutors showed Haley holding a gun to a man’s head, before being taken to the ground and escorted to the sidewalk by two other men.

“This type of crime places the community in fear to sit on their own front porch in the evening,” Fritz said in court.

According to Fritz, the state “did have great difficulty getting [the victims] to come forward, because of the language barrier and also because they were here illegally.”

Edie Fortuna, Haley’s public defender, said that Haley had “in her mind, exhausted all of the options to get money,” and was “sleeping on the street” at the time.

Fortuna said that Haley had been dealing with addiction and physical abuse for most of her life, adding that “if the court wants to give her 20 years incarceration, she will come back violent and addicted.” She suggested that Haley needed psychological counseling, telling the court that she doesn’t “think [Haley] belongs in the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup.”

“I don’t look for forgiveness, but I hope that you can find that in your heart,” Haley said in court. “I don’t want to see myself like that again.”

“This was planned, you planned this a whole hour before it happened,” St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm said. “I am being asked by you and your attorney to ignore this because you’ve had a horrific life and you do drugs.”

Stamm sentenced Haley to 15 years incarceration, with 260 days credit for the time Haley has spent in the detention center.

St. Inigoes man barred from using firearms

A St. Inigoes man who pleaded guilty to a shotgun possession charge in July won’t spend any more time in jail, but forfeited all rights to firearms during his sentencing last Friday.

Stephen Thomas Knott, 43, forfeited his right to possess firearms as part of his sentence for a December incident where he had been using a shotgun at an illegal hunting blind site on St. Jerome Creek in Dameron.

Knott had been prohibited from possessing firearms due to a misdemeanor second-degree assault charge from 1999, and was indicted on three counts of rifle/shotgun possession with a felony conviction and rifle/shotgun possession while disqualified.

Lt. Catherine Medellin of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said that a person can qualify for the “possessing a firearm with a felony conviction” charge for a list of reasons that does not always include being convicted of a felony, and Knott’s second-degree assault misdemeanor conviction was “an act of criminal violence,” which places him in the category of that charge.

Knott was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended to 41 days, which he had already served after pleading guilty, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm said in court that Knott is not allowed to hunt “with any type of firearm,” but is allowed to use a bow.

Knott was also sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

Twitter: @DanEntNews

Twitter: @DanEntNews