Leonardtown, MD — A Calvert County man has received a sentencing double-whammy. Morsell Mackall, 22, of Lusby received a total of eight years in the state penal system after being sentenced in Calvert and St. Mary’s County circuit courts.
Mackall was sentenced Sept. 3 in Calvert County Circuit Court by Judge Mark Chandlee to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin. The judge suspended all but five years of that sentence.
Mackall was previously sentenced in January of 2013 to eight years in jail for conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Sentencing Judge Michael Stamm suspended three years of that sentence. Because of his conviction in Calvert County, he was thus in violation of the probation condition to obey all laws.
Judge Stamm, who has a reputation for imposing probation back-up time for violations, did so in Mackall’s case. Although Mackall’s attorney Robyn Riddle asked that the three years be made concurrent with the five-year Calvert jail term, Judge Stamm instead made it consecutive, thus giving Mackall a total exposure of eight years to serve in jail.
The original conspiracy to commit armed robbery charge in St. Mary’s stemmed from a thwarted robbery attempt at Three Mules Welding Supply on Great Mills Road. Four people including Mackall were charged. The mother of one of the other defendants warned the shop owner of the impending robbery attempt.
According to attorney Riddle at the St. Mary’s sentencing, her client is a drug addict who for a while was doing okay after being released from jail in the St. Mary’s conviction. She said he was at a party and drinking when a fight broke out. He fled out of fear of being arrested and having his probation violated. He was stopped while leaving the party and arrested for drunk driving.
Riddle said he used heroin the night before his case for drunk driving was coming up in district court out of anxiety of having his probation violated and being sent back to jail. He overdosed and wound up in the hospital. After being released, Mackall told the judge he was using heroin pretty much every day. ”I have a problem,” he said. His attorney asked him if he was addicted and he responded, “Yes!”
Riddle said that Mackall was a nice young man except for his addictions. “I don’t know what it is that drags him back into drug behavior,” she told the judge. “I would like the court to help me help him,” she added. She said he was selling to stoke his habit, not “to get rich.”
But Stamm said, “When I look at you I see so much potential that gets wasted.” He added, “Once you are addicted to drugs it becomes an overwhelming need that has to be met.”
Mackall’s mother and uncle were in the audience. “My heart bleeds for your parents,” Judge Stamm said, telling Mackall for him to imagine how it would have been for them “if you had overdosed and died.”
“This is probably going to save your life,” Judge Stamm told Mackall of his being sent away for an extended period of time. Judge Chandlee asked that Mackall be sentenced to Patuxent Institution, which has drug rehabilitation programs. Stamm told Riddle that he would reconsider the sentence for her client if he was successful in those programs.
Contact Dick Myers at email@example.com