Salisbury Man Sentenced for Role in Fruitland Assault and Robber - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Man Sentenced for Role in Fruitland Assault and Robbery Case

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SALISBURY, Md. - An 18-year-old Salisbury man and Eagle Scout was sentenced on Monday to eight years behind bars for his role in an assault and robbery case from May of this year.  Gavin Stephens pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault and was sentenced to 15 years with all but eight suspended for each count.  He will serve them concurrently.

State's Attorney Matt Maciarello said that Gavin Stephens was the second most copable person in this case behind his older brother, Ross.

"He was the defendant who went hands on with the two victims.  He bound and duct taped their forearms.  He took possession of the Remington X70 Tactical Shotgun.  He racked it to terrorize them.  He brought a baseball bat to the scene.  He drove his brother.

The incident occurred on May 18th in Fruitland.  Maciarello said Ross Stephens was running a drug operation and was anticipating a drug shipment from one of the victims.  Maciarello said that Ross Stephens recruited the help of his younger brother, Gavin, along with 20-year-old Katlyn Jones and 23-year-old Nicholas Stuetz, to lure the victims to the Fruitland home.  Once inside, they threatened them with harm to gain information on the whereabouts of the drug shipment.

Gavin Stephens did plead guilty to two count of first-degree assault - his attorney was hopeful that character testimony from family, friends and members of his church would ease the sentence.  They spoke about his work with his church and his project to become an Eagle Scout which was raising money and helping to build a playground at West Salisbury Little League.  The defense wanted a sentence of 18 months.  The judge decided on a harsher punishment.

"She heard it all and you heard what her strong words were about the defendant.  This was an act of terrorism.  This was a terroristic act that they committed.  They held those two for an hour duct taped, racking that shotgun.  Scaring them.  This was an extremely egregious and violent act," Maciarello said.

Stephens will also have four years of probation upon his release.    
  

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