Street man tried to influence witness

October 18, 2011

A Street man recently pled guilty to trying to influence a state's witness and related burglary and theft charges.

Aubrey Gerald Pritt, 39, pled guilty Sept. 9 to trying to influence a state's witness and related burglary and theft charges. Pritt was charged with burglary after he entered a vacant home in Darlington and removed the copper piping and wiring and theft for allegedly stealing 1,160 feet of 50-strand Verizon telephone wire from a construction site in Forest Hill. The evidence showed that Pritt exchanged the copper for cash at a local recycling center. The burglary crimes were committed from late 2009 to early 2010.

On Aug. 3, while awaiting trial, Pritt was overheard during a jail visitation soliciting the help of 19-year-old Jonathan Martin Yanney, also of Street. Pritt told Yanney someone "needs to talk to [the state's witness] and tell him to forget what he knows." "All [the witness] has to say is that it's been too long and he can't remember. Anything, I don't care, as long as I get out." Yanney agreed to carry the message to the witness.

The witness reported to police that about four days after Aug. 3, Yanney approached the witness and told him that "Gerald (Pritt's nickname) wants you to forget what you know." A Grand Jury for Harford County subsequently returned indictments charging Pritt and Yanney with trying to influence the witness and related obstruction of justice charges.

Pritt, a convicted felon was sentenced on Sept. 9, for second degree burglary in Darlington, to serve six years in the Maryland Division of Correction and suspended four more years and imposed five years supervised probation upon release. He was sentenced to 18 months for the theft under $1,000 in Forest Hill and five years in prison for trying to influence a witness.

The witness' name has been withheld in the interest of public safety.

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