Man sentenced to 30 years for Dec. break-in, shooting

Gunman apologizes to family for invading home, wounding woman

May 30, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

An inmate who escaped from Anne Arundel County Detention Center last month was sentenced yesterday to 30 years for breaking into an Annapolis home Christmas Eve and shooting a woman.

Derrick Dion Jones, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault last month. Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Clayton Greene Jr. sentenced him to 60 years, suspended half of the sentence and agreed to recommend Jones to the Patuxent Institution, a state treatment facility for inmates who require psychiatric care. Jones has a history of drug abuse and depression.

Jones broke into Richard and Linda Kibbe's home in the first block of Shiley St. about midnight Dec. 24. The couple and their daughter, Kristin Cheetham, 33, barricaded themselves in an upstairs bedroom as Jones banged against the door and demanded to use the telephone. He shot through the door at least twice and hit Linda Kibbe, 61.

Cheetham told the judge that her life will never be the same after the "terror he put us through."

"I can no longer walk into a darkened room without turning on lights," she said.

Cheetham broke down and could not finish her statement to the judge. Jones silently read the rest of her statement.

Jones, whose last known address was in the 200 block of Zepplin Ave. in Pumphrey, also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Before he was sentenced, Jones apologized to the Kibbe family. On the night of the break-in, he said, he thought someone was chasing him and was going to kill him. He said he went to the Kibbe home because the light was on and that he only wanted to use the telephone.

"Please understand, I didn't intentionally try to hurt you all," he said. "I understand you all probably hate me. I hate me."

Dr. David A. Williamson, a forensic psychiatrist, testified during the hearing that Jones suffers from depression and has a history of drug abuse and psychotic episodes, including hallucinations and paranoia. He said Jones has suffered bouts of chronic depression since early adolescence and has attempted suicide a number of times.

Jones' lawyer, public defender Alan R. Friedman, said the sentence was appropriate and will give Jones a chance to improve his life.

To put him in the prison system for 50 to 60 years, he said, "is basically throwing away a life."

Jones has also been charged with escape. He is accused of climbing over a 20-foot razor-wire fence at the detention center April 5. Friedman called the escape "suicide."

"Of course, he was absolutely hoping that [police would] kill him," Friedman said.

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