Steven Gregory Anderson, accused in October of strangling a Crofton woman, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for violating the terms of a prior probation by smoking marijuana.
Anderson had been sentenced in 1985 to 10 years in prison for a series of burglaries in Edgewater, but had been ordered to serve only five years, with the other five suspended. He was released from the Eastern Correctional Institution in June, but he subsequently told a probation officer he had smoked marijuana in August.
County Circuit Judge Martin A. Wolff found Anderson guilty of violating his probation and ordered him to serve the suspended portion of the sentence for the break-ins.
Anderson's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Robert H. Waldman, said he would appeal the verdict. Waldman complained that Anderson was being punished for seeking assistance for a drug problem from his closest contact in the justice system, his probation agent.
"The man is being punished for his honesty," Waldman said. "Mr. Anderson clearly was asking for help."
After Wolff announced his verdict, Waldman asked the judge to sentence Anderson to no more than a short prison term.
Anderson, 30, of the 1100 block Old Davidsonville Road, Davidsonville, is awaiting trial in the Sept. 16 slaying of 42-year-old Gwyn Dixon Criswell. Two days after the woman was reported missing, police found her body behind the Crofton Library after a six-hour search through dense forests, swamps and underbrush.
Anderson, who had earlier been arrested after an Annapolis police officer said he found Anderson with Criswell's car, was charged with murder and armed robbery. Court records show Anderson at first denied any knowledge of Criswell or her car, then confessed to killing her and dumping her body in a wooded area near Route 424.
His release from police custody on personal recognizance just two days before the killing, after being charged with theft, prompted an ongoing review of the District Court commissioner system by a county grand jury.
Anderson appeared in court yesterday in his bare feet. He was heard telling members of his family that County Detention Center officials lost his shoes. Anderson, whose right forearm was heavily bandaged, appeared distraught and cried frequently during yesterday's hearing.
Anderson has been held without bond at the detention center since being charged in Criswell's murder. He attempted suicide in the jail by swallowing razor blades.