Columbia Man, 18, Pleads Guilty To Assault, Armed Robbery

July 28, 2009|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Don.markus@baltsun.com

An 18-year-old Columbia man who is already serving 55 years for a murder he committed when he was 15 faces up to another 40 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday in Howard County Circuit Court to charges of first-degree assault and armed robbery.

Monti Fleming, of the 6500 block of Overheart Lane, is to be sentenced by Judge Louis A. Becker III on Nov. 6.

Less than three weeks after he shot and killed Shawn Powell during a fight at a Columbia apartment complex in August 2006, Fleming shot Mark Golston outside Golston's Columbia home, hitting him in the leg.

Three days later, Fleming was one of three men to rob and pistol-whip two Pennsylvania iron workers, Jon and Justin Shaffer, inside a hotel room where the brothers were staying while working in Maryland.

Joseph Murtha, Fleming's public defender, said in court Monday that he plans to ask for a shorter sentence and to have that sentence run concurrently with the murder sentence rather than consecutively.

Though Becker said after Fleming's murder trial that he took the defendant's age into consideration when imposing the 55-year sentence rather than a life sentence without parole, those found guilty of first-degree murder in Maryland need a pardon from the governor to be released.

No one convicted of first-degree murder in Maryland has ever been pardoned.

Fleming will have to serve at least half of the term for each charge before being released, meaning that it will be unlikely that he will be out of jail until he is 63.

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