A Mechanicsville man has been sentenced to 37 years in jail after pleading guilty to “First Degree Assault” and “Armed Carjacking.” Joseph Berry, 50, was sentenced on April 3 in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court by Judge Karen Abrams. The plea averted a jury trial that was scheduled to begin April 8.

The charges stem from an incident on July 22 of last year in which a woman known to Berry was abducted at knife point and forced to drive a car to a parking lot in Loveville at which time Berry stabbed the victim numerous times. The following is the report from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the incident:

“St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s officers made contact with a stabbing victim in Loveville Maryland Monday, July 22nd. Officers learned the victim was at a business in Leonardtown when she was approached by Joseph Francis Berry, Age 49, of Mechaniscville, Maryland. Berry and the victim are known to each other and their relationship recently ended. Berry produced a knife and had the victim drive him to a parking lot in Loveville, Maryland. Once in the parking lot Berry stabbed the victim numerous times. The victim escaped from the vehicle and fled on foot for help. Berry fled the scene in the victim’s blue, 2001 Ford Focus, Maryland registration 3AH7432.  The victim was transported to a medical facility for treatment.”

Berry was arrested a day later in Prince George’s County with the assistance of officers there, Berry was a registered sex offender at the time of his arrest.

Judge Abrams sentenced Berry to 25 years on the First-Degree Assault charge and 30 years on the Armed Carjacking charge, but suspended 18 years on the latter charge. She made both sentences consecutive. He will be on five years of supervised probation after being released. Several lesser charges were nolle prossed by the state during the sentencing hearing.