Ex-hospital worker sentenced for recruiting patients for robbery

February 11, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

A former Crownsville State Hospital supervisor who recruited two patients to help him rob a Fort Meade credit union was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in the county detention center.

The Feb. 25, 1992, robbery attempt was foiled after the credit union closed while the would-be thieves sat in a van in the parking lot discussing their plot.

Judge Bruce C. Williams Jr. sentenced Charles Pettit, 43, of Gaithersburg, to three years, but suspended all but 18 months. Pettit will participate in a work release program during his sentence.

One of his accomplices, Mark J. Hodski, 33, a patient at Crownsville at the time of the robbery attempt, received an 18-month suspended sentence.

Both men were charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and could have been sentenced to 20 years. Assistant States Attorney Fred Paone had recommended a suspended jail sentence for Hodski and a five-year cap on Pettit's sentence.

A third man, Francis DeMay, 30, of Ferndale, who was also a patient at Crownsville, was found not criminally responsible earlier. He told the court at a hearing last November that he thought he was going to a party when he was invited along for the hold-up attempt.

According to police accounts, Pettit approached Hodski around September 1991 and asked him if he "ever wanted to knock off a bank." Pettit said he would provide a gun and a hospital van with its state logo hidden by a magnetic florist sign. Hodski later recruited DeMay.

On Feb. 25, 1992, the three men drove to the Fort Meade Community Credit Union, with the intention of robbing it. But the credit union closed as the men sat in the van, discussing their plans.

On March 22, a duffel bag containing a 45-caliber revolver, army fatigues, ski masks, gloves, Maryland car tags and the magnetic florist sign was found in a building on the Crownsville grounds.

The next day, the men admitted the plot to investigators, court records said.

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