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Man given two life terms for first-degree murder

joshua terrell mebaneLa Plata, MD - In a tense, drama-filled Charles County Circuit Courtroom before Judge Amy J. Bragunier Friday, Jan. 6, Jerry L. Bass Jr., survivor of an Oct. 26, 2012 shooting at Hampshire Circle in Waldorf, confronted the man who killed his wife Theresa Bass.

“I’ve waited four-and-a-half years for this opportunity to confront the man who murdered my wife,” Bass exclaimed. “The last time the defendant was in court, he said his only regret was that I didn’t die too.”

Bass looked directly at Joshua Terrell Mebane, 21 of Waldorf, facing sentencing for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

“I’m still here,” he told the defendant.

The victim told the court he lost half of his colon from the shooting, had undergone 10 blood transfusions and a hernia as a result of surgeries.

“My guts were literally hanging out of my abdomen,” he said. “I was an EMT and a professional firefighter for 22 years. I had to watch my wife gasp her last breath. I couldn’t help her.”

He said his wife was two days shy of her 41st birthday when she was shot.

“That man went through hell to fight for his life,” Charles County States Attorney Tony Covington told the court.

Covington said Mebane murdered a cab driver in Washington, D.C. 10 days after he shot Theresa and Jerry Bass in a similar shooting, “for no reason whatsoever. They were walking their dog.

“The defendant has forfeited the right to live among the free public for the rest of his life,” the prosecutor added. “That’s my position.”

In addition to the D.C. case—for which he will be incarcerated until 2052—and the Charles County murder, Mebane is also facing trial in Terre Haute, IN for the murder of his cellmate while he was incarcerated there for the Washington homicide.

A more interesting development in the case appeared to be discussion between Charles County Public Defender Michael Beach and the defendant who asked the court to dismiss his representation and allow him to defend himself.

Beach told the court the defendant had issues prior to the Hampshire Circle shooting—when he was only 17—that would have helped explain how he ended up where he did.

“Out of respect to Mr. Mebane, he doesn’t want me to disclose that to the court, but that is light that is not going to be shown in this case,” Beach stated.

When Beach began reading a quote that, “darkness can never overcome darkness, only light can do that,” Mebane asked him to, “please stop.”

Mebane asked the court to sentence him to the maximum the state was asking for.

“That night, there were no words exchanged,” he said of the murder of Theresa Bass. “The only thing I desired from them were their lives.”

He claimed that he was involved in Satanism and that the murder of his cell mate in Terre Haute was a “Satanic sacrifice.

“I derived emotional and physical gratification from killing,” he told Bragunier. “She meant nothing to me. My only regret from that night was that I allowed the husband to live. Any sentence this court can give me will be completely meaningless.”

Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Campbell called the defendant “heinous” and “evil.”

She said the Bass family and the community deserved justice.

Campbell asked the court to sentence Mebane in excess of what the guidelines called for and that’s exactly what Bragunier did, sentencing the defendant to two life sentences for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder and an extra 20 years for the use of a firearm in a crime of violence.

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com

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