Inmate gets 8 years in prison guard attack

Victim decries sentence for man serving 34 years for attempted murder

January 24, 2002|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A state inmate serving 34 years, most for attempted murder, had his prison term increased by eight years yesterday for maiming a correctional officer who said he wanted his attacker to get the maximum 25-year sentence.

"I thought I was going to die," said Gregory McGowan, 42, a former correctional sergeant at the Maryland House of Correction, who told Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck that injuries from the Dec. 8, 1999, attack left his left arm weakened and ended his 15-year career in the Division of Corrections. "I'm in favor of the maximum sentence."

He also said prisoners "laugh at the court" and that eight years is a "slap in the face" to him and other corrections officers for the kinds of situations that they endure at the prison in Jessup. Corrections officers have long complained about work problems. State guidelines in this case called for a sentence of between eight and 13 years.

His attacker, Michael Anthony Crosby, entered an Alford plea in October to one count of first-degree assault, in which he did not accept responsibility but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction. McGowan said he was not in favor of the plea.

At that time, Manck said he would consider reducing the sentence if Crosby completes four years without a prison infraction, said Pamela K. Alban, assistant state's attorney.

Crosby, 35, formerly of Baltimore, was considered the main aggressor in a group of about four prisoners who jumped two guards. McGowan was stabbed 17 times and suffered severed nerves and a broken shoulder. He said he has borrowed about $25,000 to keep his family financially afloat and pursue computer studies to prepare for a new career.

Crosby said nothing in court. His lawyer, David P. Putzi, said his client has physical and mental health issues that have not been addressed during his incarceration since 1990. He has been stripped of credits he earned toward shortening his sentence. His mandatory release date has been delayed so that he will be past age 60 when released, Putzi said.

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