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Burglary ring member gets four years in jail

Montina Knight

Leonardtown, MD -- A Leonardtown man has been sentenced to four years in jail for his part in a theft ring in St. Mary’s and Charles counties. Montina Knight, 25, was sentenced April 29 by Judge Karen Abrams in St. Mary’s County Circuity Court. The judge sentenced Knight to a total of 10 years, but she suspended six of the years.

Knight pled guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree burglary for two incidents in St. Mary’s County. He still has to be sentenced for a burglary charge in Charles County.

Knight and four others were arrested for burglaries in April of last year at homes in Clements and Leonardtown. Multiple firearms were taken in the Clements burglary and electronics equipment stolen in Leonardtown.

The robberies allegedly occurred so Knight could secure money to purchase drugs for his heroin habit. While Knight was on pre-trial supervision he tested positive for heroin, according to Deputy State’s Attorney Daniel White. Judge Abrams ordered Knight jailed after that.

White told Judge Abrams the case presented problems for him, because of one hand Knight hadn’t had problems prior to the burglary charges, but on the other hand the crime spree was conduct that warranted a heavy sentence.

White and Knight’s attorney, Kenneth Prien of Waldorf, disagreed over what the state sentencing guidelines should be, in part because of the pending Charles County case. White said they should be seven to 30 years for the two charges, while Prien contended they should be four to 18 years. In the end Judge Abrams went along with Prien in imposing the four-year sentence.

Prien said that his client had made efforts at rehabilitation, but the judge noted his recent drug activity and the amount of time he had to do something since being arrested. “You are not taking responsibility for your commitment to recovery,” she said.

Knight’s mother, grandmother and the mother of his two children were in court but did not speak. Prien said the two children would be cared for by the grandmother and the children’s mother while Knight is in jail.

Knight apologized, saying, “I take responsibility for my actions.”

Judge Abrams said that Knight wasn’t yet a candidate for the alternate Adult Recovery Court.” You couldn’t even handle pre-trial supervision,” she noted. But she did leave that open as a possibility by saying that Prien could petition the court for a long-term drug treatment program for his client after he had served at least a year in the Maryland Department of Corrections.

Judge Abrams said the state’s parole system may require Knight to serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. He will be on five year’s supervised probation after release. White will also file with the court a request for restitution to the victims for when Knight is released.

The other four people charged in connection with the burglary ring have either not been sentenced or had trials on the charges.

Contact Dick Myers at dick.myers@thebaynet.com

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