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Carjacking bank robber's conviction affirmed

May 28, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Maryland's second-highest court has upheld the conviction and 45-year prison sentence of a man who carjacked a taxi at gunpoint in Halfway and then drove it to Williamsport to rob a bank in 1997.

David Shelton, 25, of Washington, D.C., is serving that sentence on top of a seven-year term for cocaine distribution, violation of probation and two assaults on correctional officers at the Eastern Correctional Institution.

Last August, a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of four counts of armed robbery, three counts of assault, two handgun violations, two counts of theft, three counts of reckless endangerment and one count of carjacking in Washington County Circuit Court.

Judge Donald Beachley said Shelton terrorized three tellers at the Farmers and Merchants Bank branch at 16802 Virginia Ave., when he burst into the bank armed with a handgun on Jan. 22, 1997.

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Earlier that day, Shelton carjacked a Turner Taxi in Halfway, ordering the driver, his wife and two other women out of the vehicle at gunpoint.

Hagerstown City Police arrested Shelton on Feb. 1, 1997, in the stairway of 31 E. Washington St. on an outstanding warrant.

In his appeal, Shelton raised several issues, including the legality of his sentence, admission of some evidence at trial and Beachley's refusal to allow Shelton to fire his lawyer more than halfway through the trial.

On all points, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 17 found no error and affirmed the convictions and the sentence.

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