A second perpetrator of a 2019 gun assault in Chesapeake Ranch Estates was sentenced July 16 in Calvert County Circuit Court. Defendant John Michael Anderson Wood, 21, of Lusby was given a total of 45 years by Judge Mark Chandlee, who suspended all but 14 years.
In March, Wood pleaded guilty to single counts of first-degree assault, firearm use in a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a minor and two counts of reckless endangerment for his role in the late October shooting, which seriously injured an 18-year-old woman, who was sitting in a parked car with two other people.
Wood and codefendant Dru Michael Sultzaberger allegedly fired a barrage of bullets from Glock pistols into the vehicle in apparent retaliation for a confrontation that occurred at a party in Prince Frederick earlier that evening.
Sultzaberger was sentenced earlier this year to 17 years in the department of corrections. His sentence included a drug charge that occurred the same day but was unrelated to the shooting.
Prosecuting attorney Lee Ann Bell of the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office called the shooting “senseless. It didn’t need to occur.”
Bell said Sultzaberger and Wood “made the decision to randomly open fire without taking the time to verify if anyone was in the car.”
One of the volleys from the shots fired struck a victim in the face, while the other two occupants managed to escape injury. According to Bell, the victim, who declined to attend the hearing, continues to suffer from the effects of the shooting.
Bell also noted and provided documentation to the court of five incidents Wood has been disciplined for at the Calvert County Detention Center since his incarceration.
The prosecutor declared that a substantial sentence “is warranted. This was an act of violence that is not tolerated in this county. Mr. Wood demonstrated he is a danger to the community.”
Frederick A. Lester Jr., Wood’s attorney, told the court Sultzaberger “was the ringleader,” and that Wood “had no problems at the party. He was the follower.”
Lester added that both Wood and Sultzaberger “thought the car was empty.”
Wood, said Lester, hopes to become a professional auto mechanic and, after he is released from prison and completes his probation, plans to move to Texas with his mother.
Wood, with his mother in the courtroom, read a prepared statement prior to being sentenced.
“I put my mother in more pain than I could imagine,” Wood said, adding that he has been sober for 22 months.
“This wasn’t an accident,” said Chandlee. “I have an obligation to protect the community.”
In addition to his jail sentence, five years of supervised probation was ordered for Wood, who is to have no contact with the victims.