An Accokeek man already on probation for a series of 2015 church and school burglaries was sentenced to eight years on Tuesday morning in Charles County Circuit Court for the Feb. 7, 2017, armed robbery at a Waldorf branch of Old Line Bank.
Mortimer Mumpford Wade, 24, appeared before Circuit Court Judge H. James “Jay” West on Tuesday morning for sentencing in connection to the 2017 crime, for which he pleaded guilty to armed robbery in April 2018. Armed robbery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years; in this case, the defense and prosecution agreed Wade would receive no more than 15 years of active time. Wade was also facing a maximum of 10 years backup time in connection to one of the 2015 crimes, and 18 months with the other. Wade respectively received six and four months of backup time to be served consecutively, along with five years of supervised probation and credit for the time he’s served since Feb. 9, 2017.
Wade’s sentencing Tuesday came about after having been previously postponed several times, beginning in July 2018, which defense attorney Joseph McKenzie noted in court.
The most recent postponement came in January, according to online court records.
It was even delayed several times Tuesday morning: Originally on the docket for 9 a.m., Wade’s case was not heard until around 2 p.m. because of other cases scheduled in the courtroom that day, including jury selection for a trial.
When all parties were assembled before West and the proceedings were underway, Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Campbell opted to keep her remarks brief, saying the court had heard the state’s position at length in previous proceedings.
“It’s clear the defendant has a substance abuse problem,” Campbell said, “but it’s also clear that he poses a danger to society.”
McKenzie, who noted Wade’s display of “abnormal behavior” since he was 14 years old, said his 2015 guilty plea to theft and subsequent unsupervised probation “was one of the worst things that could have happened to my client.” That period of time, he said, saw the worsening of substance abuse and mental disorders that was not disclosed in those proceedings. McKenzie said he was not Wade’s lawyer in that first case, and the first attorney “failed to communicate” with his family entirely. Thus, he said, Wade “fell through the cracks.”
“I’m begging you to rewind and assess the sentence given in 2015,” McKenzie said, noting that the court has more awareness now of Wade’s issues than they did previously.
He recalled a previous court proceeding in which, he said, Wade became agitated to the point of being almost impossible to calm down. His nurse, McKenzie reminded the court, calmed the man down by offering him a coloring book and crayons, which served to soothe him.
McKenzie also pointed to Wade’s conduct the day of the crime itself, which he painted as bizarre. Wade, McKenzie said, “was so calm” when speaking to the bank teller and presenting the note that said he had a gun that he was later found not to have.
“He took possession of the money and walked out as if he was supposed to have it,” McKenzie said.
In administering his sentence, West said that when the time comes, the court will work with Wade and McKenzie to help him explore how to enter into drug treatment programs.
“In most cases, this is a 15-year sentence, easily. But he’s not most people,” West said.