Teen rejects plea deal on charges related to shooting near Jonathan Street

State will seek indictment against Dennis S. Marshall Jr. for attempted first-degree murder

June 07, 2012|By DON AINES |

A juvenile charged as an adult in a 2011 shooting rejected a plea offer of 20 years in prison this week in Washington County Circuit Court, and could be indicted on more serious charges, according to a recording of the proceeding.

Dennis S. Marshall Jr., 17, of Hagerstown was charged with second-degree attempted murder in the Oct. 17, 2011, shooting of Colin Wesley Williams of Hagerstown in an alley off Jonathan Street.

Marshall also was charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, court records said.

Marshall was in court on Tuesday before Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III for a hearing on possible evidence suppression issues. But defense attorney David Harbin told Boone he was withdrawing the motion.


“There were two plea offers made, your honor,” Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack told Boone. “One specifically, which would occur in front of you. He has rejected them.”

“He has? Never heard of Christmas in June?” Boone said.

“The state will be going to the grand jury today to seek an indictment for attempted first-degree murder and use of a weapon in a crime of violence,” McCormack said during the hearing.

The offer Marshall rejected would have been a plea of guilty to second-degree attempted murder, with a sentence of 30 years with all but 20 years suspended, McCormack told Boone.

“That’s a sweet deal. I would have signed onto it,” Boone said in the recording of the hearing.

“If the grand jury does come back with an indictment, we will request a postponement of the trial date,” Harbin told Boone.

The trial is scheduled for June 12, court records said.

No indictment had been filed in Marshall’s case as of Thursday afternoon, according to court records.

Second-degree attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, according to Maryland state sentencing guidelines. First-degree attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, the guidelines said.

A conviction for use of a firearm in a crime of violence carries a maximum sentence of 20 years with a mandatory minimum of five years, under the guidelines.

Williams, 19, was shot in the abdomen on the afternoon of Oct. 17. However, he was later charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder for the stabbing of Malik Scott of Hagerstown, which occurred in the area of High and George streets in Hagerstown on Oct. 6.

In March, Williams entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault in the stabbing and is awaiting sentencing.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Marshall remained at large until Dec. 23, when he was found hiding in a house on Avalon Avenue.

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