Carjacker gets 10 years for 'insult' to community

November 22, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Howard Circuit Court judge gave a man the state's maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for a February carjacking in Columbia, calling the crime "an insult to the community."

Judge Dennis Sweeney imposed the sentence yesterday after the defendant, 23-year-old Anthony Joyner of Laurel, argued that he did not get a fair trial.

Joyner was convicted of robbery, theft and assault charges in September for forcing a woman from her 1985 BMW sedan outside her home in the Village of Kings Contrivance on Feb. 15.

Carjacking has received national attention since Pam Basu of Savage was dragged to her death in a carjacking incident on Sept. 8.

"I think the terror any one would experience ... is an extraordinary insult to that person," Judge Sweeney said. The nature of the offense is an insult to the victim, an insult to the community."

The judge denied a motion to grant Joyner a new trial, although the defendant said he plans to appeal his conviction.

"I did not commit this crime." Joyner said. "I don't think I received justice in my trial."

Judge Sweeney Imposed the sentence after hearing pleas for leniency by Joyner's attorney, Joseph Gibson of Silver Spring. Mr Gibson said a prison term of two to five years would be appropriate.

But Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Murtha, who prosecuted the case, urged the judge to issue the maximum sentence for robbery permitted under state law. The sentences for the theft and assault counts were "merged" into the penalty for the robbery charge.

The prosecutor said Joyner's criminal record shows a steady "escalation" of crimes, starting with drug possession and ending with the carjacking.

Mr. Gibson urged Judge Sweeney to give Joyner another chance. "I am asking the court not to throw this young man on the trash heap of humanity," Mr. Gibson said.

The carjacking victim testified at Joyner's trial that she was confronted by a man with a handgun as she got out of her car near her home In the 9500 block of Sea Shadow.

Joyner was arrested about three weeks later when police in Prince George's County spotted the stolen BMW. The stolen car had a license plate for a 1982 Honda that was owned by Joyner.

Joyner testified that an acquaintance from Washington let him borrow the BMW while his Honda was getting repaired. The defendant could not provide the friend's last name, address or telephone number.

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