Prince Frederick, MD – Calvert County Circuit Court Judge E. Gregory Wells declared “the lives of two families have been literally shattered by a mallet.” Wells, presiding over the sentencing hearing of Gary Sylvester Mason, 36 of Port Republic (pictured, left) Friday, Dec. 11, imposed a life sentence for the defendant in the beating death of Rodney Vincent Mackall, 52 this past March 3. All but 30 years of the sentence was suspended, and Mason must face five years of probation when his is finally released from prison.

Mason’s co-defendant, Nicole Dalrymple, was sentenced last month to life with all but 15 years suspended for her role in the crime.

According to police investigators’ accounts, Mason and Dalrymple were driven by another man to Mackall’s residence on Sixes Road in Prince Frederick during the late morning hours of March 3. It was revealed the pair had gone to the home to purchase cocaine. During the early afternoon, a passing motorist saw a severely beaten Mackall outside the home and reported it to authorities. Mackall was transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital and subsequently flown to the University of Maryland hospital where he died the following day.

Mason and Dalrymple were apprehended by police outside a local motel where they were staying. A search of their room yielded both drugs and money.
“It’s clear there was a plan,” said Deputy State’s Attorney Kathryn Marsh, who noted Mason went to Mackall’s home armed with a rubber mallet, which he later admitted he used to beat the victim. “There was a tremendous amount of force used when Mr. Mason struck the victim.” Marsh noted Mackall was hit at least five times. “They [Mason and Dalrymple] leave him laying in the driveway.”

“This was a setup,” said Mackall’s sister, Denise, who affirmed the family remains heartbroken over her brother’s murder and wanted Mason to serve a full life sentence. “We’re never going to see our brother again.”

Marsh told Wells that Mackall’s family wanted Mason to serve a life sentence with no time suspended.

“He [Mason] is a good father,” said Violet Stewart, the defendant’s aunt, who told Wells her nephew has four children.

“He’s made some mistakes in the past, he does have a drug problem,” said Andrew R. Szekely, Mason’s attorney, who maintained his client was “forthright” with police about what he had done to Mackall. Szekely noted Mason showed sheriff’s deputies investigating the incident where he had disposed of the murder weapon. “He aided their investigation. He understands the enormity of the crime and is extremely remorseful. He knows he’s getting a lot of time today. He’s going to use that time to better himself.”

Mason chose not to address the court.

“I understand how it happened. I’m at a loss to figure out why it happened,” said Wells to Mason. “You took another man’s life and did so in a heinous fashion. You will be released someday, but you have a lot to account for.”

Like Dalrymple, Mason was ordered to pay restitution to Mackall’s family to cover his funeral expenses. In addition, to time behind bars and probation, Wells ordered Mason to enroll in a prison drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Contact Marty Madden at

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