Robin Harmon enters plea in drug case

October 29, 1997


Staff Writer

Former Miss Maryland Robin Valeria Harmon was convicted of a drug charge Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

As part of a plea agreement, Harmon, 40, entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges the state has evidence to gain a conviction, but does not admit guilt.

Harmon originally was charged with twice selling cocaine last spring to an undercover informant, according to court documents.

As a result of the plea agreement, one felony drug distribution charge was dismissed and a second was reduced to the misdemeanor conspiracy charge.

The maximum penalty she could have faced was 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. But the plea agreement limited a potential prison sentence to four years.


Also as part of the plea agreement reached by her attorney, Stephen Meyers, and Assistant State's Attorney Duane Gigeous, Harmon will enter a drug treatment program.

"This is the best thing for her because it is the beginning of her new life of sobriety," Meyers said.

During her court appearance, Harmon said she has been clean and sober for the past five months, during which she has been held in the Washington County Detention Center. She also expressed an interest in speaking to others suffering from addiction.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III told Harmon she has more pressing concerns.

"Before you do good for others, you've got to do good for yourself," he said.

Harmon is expected to be sentenced after she completes a 30-day inpatient drug treatment program at the Massie Unit of the Finan Center in Cumberland, Md. She said in court that she has been involved with drugs for "many, many years" and is looking forward to treatment.

Last year, Harmon pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge but did not complete a court-ordered treatment program, according to court documents.

"I would like to participate in something very real now because I am sober enough to see that. I have never been sober enough to see that before," Harmon said.

In May, when Harmon was ordered to be held in the detention center, she voiced objections about being incarcerated. But on Tuesday she said the time has allowed her to reflect.

"It wasn't a problem sitting there (in the detention center) because I needed the time to readjust my life," Harmon said.

The possibility exists for Harmon to be released to the care of her family for a short period before she begins drug treatment. But Boone warned that if that were permitted, it would involve tight restrictions. And if she were to get in trouble with drugs again, she likely would face prison time, he said.

"I wouldn't have any choice but to impose incarceration," Boone told Harmon.

Harmon's father, George Robinson, and several other family members and friends were in court. Robinson said he would welcome his daughter to his home and help with her recovery.

"We're going to do everything we can to support her," he said.

A Hagerstown native, Harmon won the Miss Maryland pageant in 1981, becoming both the first Washington County resident and the first black contestant to win the honor. She competed in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., that year before starting a modeling and acting career in New York City.

"This is someone who has seen much success and has literally reached rock bottom," Meyers said.

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