La Plata, MD – Darryl Jerome Smith, 21 of Washington, DC, has one last chance to avoid serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier said Thursday, Feb. 4 in La Plata.

Smith was among five people arrested for the violent death of Steven Fulton McGregor Jr., 25 of Forestville, when Smith and four other defendants shot two men in the 3200 block of Westdale Court in Waldorf Dec. 28, 2007.

Upon arrival, Charles County Sheriff’s Office deputies observed a vehicle damaged by several bullet holes.

They discovered a man inside the vehicle who had suffered a fatal gunshot wound and an adult male lying near the vehicle with a gunshot injury.

Detectives learned through their investigation that five victims were in a vehicle when they were shot by unknown suspects. The assailants robbed the victims of money and property and fired shots into the vehicle and at the victims before fleeing.

As the investigation progressed, detectives determined the victim and the suspects knew each other and were involved in an on-going dispute.

Smith was before Bragunier Feb. 4 on a violation of probation charge.

Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Frank Granados told the court that Smith tested positive for opiates on two occasions in 2014 and once for cocaine.

Smith accepted an Alford plea back in June 2007 and pled guilty in January 2008, serving 10 months, but was given credit for 376 days  incarceration and placed on five years of supervised probation.

After testing positive for drugs on three occasions, he found himself back before the court Feb. 4.

Charles County Assistant Public Defender Gabrielle Green asked the court to defer sentencing to allow her client to get into a drug treatment program.

“I’m going to defer sentencing to allow you to get into a program,” Bragunier said. “You need mental health evaluation and drug rehabilitation. If you’re actively engaged in treatment, Ms. Green will let us know. As long as you’re being compliant we will push back sentencing.”

Bragunier gave Smith a new status date of April 28, telling him he had better be in a program before then.

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