LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, April 27, 2017, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier sentenced Rodrigueze Lavon Nowlin, Jr., 22, to 25 years suspend all but 18 months for 3 counts of First Degree Assault and 18 months for the Possession of an Assault Rifle, which will run concurrent to the First Degree Assault charge. Nowlin was also sentenced to 10 years suspend all but 18 months for 2 counts of Second Degree Assault and 18 months for Reckless Endangerment, which will run consecutive to the First Degree Assault and Possession of an Assault Rifle charges. Nowlin was sentenced to a total of 3 years.
On April 9, 2016, an officer stationed in the 2000 block of Nantucket Drive in Waldorf was frantically approached by a person who reported seeing Nowlin carrying a AR-15 rifle towards a nearby recreation center. The officer subsequently responded to the location and witnessed Nowlin walking in the parking lot of the recreation center towards a side door with a rifle. The officer confronted Nowlin and was able to apprehend him on the scene without shots being fired.
An investigation revealed that Nowlin was attending his girlfriend’s baby shower at the recreational center when he was assaulted by an adult male guest. In response to the minor assault, Nowlin went outside to retrieve a AR-15 from his vehicle. Guests attending the baby shower witnessed Nowlin walking back to the center with the rifle and locked the doors to prevent entrance. After being unable to enter the interior door, he started walking towards the side entrance but was startled by the police officer’s quick arrival and attempted to hide himself and conceal the rifle he was carrying. The semi-automatic AR-15 was loaded with 27 rounds, was ready to fire and was reported stolen from North Carolina.
At sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah K. Freeman, before making a recommendation to the Court, noted that the defendant’s Maryland Sentencing Guidelines were 4 years to 9 years. The guidelines are a sentencing guide for judges and generally signal what an appropriate sentence would be for a particular defendant given the defendant’s crime he is being sentenced for and his criminal history. Freeman recommended a 10 year sentence explaining that the terror this defendant produced warranted a sentence above or at the top of the defendant’s guidelines.
Covington commented that, “But for the timely arrival of Deputy McCue, Waldorf very well would have been the center of the national media’s universe because of this AR-15 toting defendant and the carnage he planned to create. His intent to harm everyone in that rec center was clear. They certainly felt terrorized and he should be severely punished for his inexcusable actions.”