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Man sentenced in robberies, assault on officer

July 19, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to three charges in connection with robbing a convenience store, trying to rob a motel and assaulting a police officer one March night.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ordered that Billy Wayne Smith serve 18 years in prison after Smith pleaded guilty to armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and first-degree assault. Remaining charges and a fourth case were dropped in exchange for his pleas.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said that on March 2 at about 11:40 p.m., Smith walked into 7-Eleven on Leitersburg Pike and asked for a pack of Newport cigarettes. When the clerk came back with the cigarettes, Smith "had his hand stuffed down his pants and told him, 'Give me all your money or I'll blow your head off,'" Cirincion said.

Smith made off with $155, which was ordered Tuesday to be paid back once he is released from prison. Smith was found driving a Dodge, a description and tags for which an incoming customer took down, a short distance away, Cirincion said.

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On March 3, at 12:01 a.m., Smith went to the Super 8 Motel on Dual Highway, approached a female clerk and told her three times to give him money. In this case, Smith had his hand stuffed in his pants, too, but the clerk "was not convinced he had a gun." The clerk called police while he was there and Smith was apprehended a short time later when Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Andrew Smith noticed a man driving a car that matched the description of the getaway vehicle.

After stopping the car, Smith ordered Billy Smith out of it, but "the tires began to spin and he continued to drive the car directly at the trooper," who was able to jump out of the way, Cirincion said.

According to charging documents, the Sheriff's Department apprehended him a short time later after a car and foot chase off Md. 66 south of Mt. Aetna Road.

Before pronouncing sentence, McDowell told Smith that he has an "atrocious record," which he counted to included nine prior convictions or findings for delinquency.

McDowell sentenced him to 41 years but suspended all but 18 of them, according to court documents.

He ordered Smith to serve three years of probation, concurrent for each case, upon his release from prison.

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