A 25-year-old Marbury man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbing the White Plains Dash-In with a shotgun in April 2017.
On Nov. 15, 2017, Corey Anthony Kelton, 25, who was identified as the gunman of the robbery, pleaded guilty to two of the 14 counts he was charged with: armed robbery and firearm use to commit a violent crime.
Kelton’s sentencing took place in circuit court in front of Judge H. Jay West on Jan. 11.
On April 18, 2017, at approximately 5 a.m., Charles County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Dash-In on Crain Highway in White Plains for the report of an armed robbery.
According to the sheriff’s office, four masked men entered the store and demanded money from the clerk. After obtaining the cash in a register, one of the suspects fired two shots from a shotgun, striking the ceiling and a display case. The suspects fled in a minivan, which was found a short time later on fire.
After summarizing the crime, assistant state’s attorney Tiffany L. Campbell told the court that the victim, the Dash-In worker on duty during the incident, could not be present in court for the sentencing; however, relayed a message from him.
Campbell said that the victim was scared the night of the crime, and that he wishes that the defendants get help if they committed the crime for drugs.
“This was a really scary situation,” Campbell said, referring to the victim’s experience.
She said that even though Kelton admitted to his actions, she still wanted West to sentence the defendant the maximum of 10 years.
“We cannot tolerate this in our community,” Campbell told the court.
Representing Kelton, attorney Michele A. Harewood told the court that the defendant has a history of drug use and addiction, which started at a young age of 15 or 16.
Harewood said that Kelton admitted to police that he didn’t realize what he was doing during the armed robbery because he was influenced by drugs at the time.
She said that Kelton’s lack of education, having only completed school until the 10th grade, and his drug use led him to be around the wrong people and commit this crime.
“I want him to get the help he [needs]; he needs treatment — and ultimately the victim wants the same thing,” Harewood said.
Kelton’s family members were given a chance to speak on his behalf to the court. Several of them spoke, who said that drugs made Kelton a different person than he truly is. They also mentioned that he is an “excellent” father of two children, ages 3 and 4 months.
“I believe everything that your family said,” West told Kelton. However, he told Kelton that he believes that his offenses were a 10-year sentence because he used a gun to commit the robbery and that he fired off the gun inside the store.
West had the victim in mind when he decided the appropriate sentence. He said that a person working the late night shift at a Dash-In, probably trying to support their family, doesn’t deserve to have their life threatened.
“Pulling the trigger when you leave, is letting the victim know that ‘your life could have ended two minutes ago, and I might change my mind in the parking lot,’” West said.
West sentenced Kelton to 10 years for the armed robbery charge and 10 years with five years without parole for the use of a firearm to committee a violent crime charge. Both counts will be served concurrent, with a credit of 253 days already served.
West also told Harewood that Kelton will be able to receive treatment while incarcerated.
Kelton’s co-defendant, Anthony Tilden Walls, 24, of Indian Head also pled guilty to one of the 14 counts he was charged with: conspiracy to commit robbery on Nov. 15, 2017. Walls’ sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22.
The two additional co-defendants, Nathan Ellsworth Proctor Jr., 34, of Bryans Road and Tyrel Javonte Adams, 21, of Indian Head opted for trials, both scheduled for February.
Originally Posted on The Maryland Independent: