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Pleas entered in MCTC escape attempt case

July 20, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A 1998 attempted escape from the Maryland Correctional Training Center that involved three inmates, an inmate's wife and 18-inch bolt cutters concluded Tuesday when two inmates entered Alford pleas in Washington County Circuit Court.

Entering pleas in the April 1998 escape attempt were:

- Henry Davis, 39, of Baltimore, who entered an Alford plea to unlawfully receiving contraband to aid an escape. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but 18 months suspended.

Recently paroled, Davis has spent 23 of his 39 years behind bars, court records said.

Judge Kennedy Boone ordered Davis to begin serving his sentence at the Washington County Detention Center on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m.

- Charles Kenneth Hopkins, 48, of Baltimore, also entered an Alford plea to unlawfully receiving contraband to aid an escape. Hopkins, who is serving a life term at the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, consecutive to a sentence he is serving for killing a police officer during a 1972 robbery in Baltimore.

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An Alford plea is an acknowledgment that the prosecution has enough evidence for a conviction, but the defendant does not acknowledge guilt.

In January, Shawn Michael Metty, 22, who was an MCTC inmate in April 1998, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to effect escape and is awaiting sentencing.

His wife, Shannon M. Metty, 20, of Cumberland, Md., also pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to deliver contraband. She also is awaiting sentencing.

Sentencing dates for the Mettys haven't been set.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said the bolt cutters were found during a routine inspection of an air vent in the prison newspaper office on April 29, 1998.

The investigation revealed Shannon Metty bought the bolt cutters at Wal-Mart with a $75 money order and took them to MCTC, where they were hidden in a trash container in the visitors parking lot.

Davis, a member of a trusted group of inmates allowed outside the prison fence, retrieved the bolt cutters, hid them under his jacket on April 7, 1998, and got them inside the prison, Cirincion said.

An investigation revealed the bolt cutters were destined for Hopkins, she said.

"I took advantage of the trust given me by the MCTC staff. ... It was all my doing," Hopkins said.

"Former Gov. (William Donald) Schaefer took away all work release for lifers and (Gov. Parris) Glendening reaffirmed that," Hopkins said.

Hopkins, who earned his college degree while in prison, said he felt the only way he would be able to be outside in the community would be to escape.

"I did what I did because I knew I would make no progress through the system," Hopkins said. "The governor is wrong and that's what drove me."

Glendening continues to support no parole and no outside work release for inmates serving life sentences, said Deputy Press Secretary Michelle Byrnie.

Hopkins, who has been behind bars for 26 years, told Boone he wasn't seeking the court's sympathy, just its understanding.

Boone told Hopkins that it was a shame he didn't channel his intellect differently.

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