Man Sentenced to Seven Years for First-Degree Assault - Southern Maryland Headline News

Man Sentenced to Seven Years for First-Degree Assault

By Lauren Procopio, The Calvert County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—A Huntingtown man was sentenced to seven years at the Division of Correction for first-degree assault Monday afternoon.

Terrence Oliver, 45, was sentenced to 25 years, with all but seven years suspended, by Circuit Court Judge Mark Chandlee.

According to court documents, on Sept. 5, 2014, Oliver arrived at the victim’s home and as she exited the vehicle, the defendant approached her and began beating her “like a man.” According to court documents, the victim choked the defendant and cut off her airway and covered her nose and mouth with his hand. During the strangulation, the victim believed she was “going to die” at the hands of the defendant and began to pray. Court documents stated that the victim wanted people to know who her attacker was and began fighting back, which caused Oliver to stop choking her. The defendant then forced the victim into her own car and told the victim he was “taking her for a ride to talk.” The defendant bound the victim’s hands and forced her into the back seat of her vehicle and informed the victim he was driving to his home to retrieve his gun and said they were heading to Hagerstown, Md. According to court documents, the defendant repeatedly said he was “going to kill himself either by shooting himself or finding a mountain to jump off of.” The defendant spoke to his cousin, Vaughn Thomas on the telephone, who convinced Oliver to not commit suicide and to take the victim to the hospital. Oliver drove the victim to Anne Arundel County Medical Center, where she was released. The defendant left the victim’s vehicle in the hospital’s parking garage. The victim engaged the defendant in a text message conversation while she was in the hospital – during the conversation the defendant apologized for his actions and then blamed the victim for not telling him she was dating someone else. On the evening of Sept. 5, 2014, Detective Mudd contacted Oliver, who agreed to meet the detective at the sheriff’s office. Police said the defendant waived his rights and confessed to a portion of the events – the detective subsequently placed Oliver under arrest and transported him to the detention center, where he was held until his April sentencing hearing.

During the April 13 sentencing hearing, the defendant had a large amount of community and family support – Oliver was able to pay for his defense council due to donations from the community. The victim in the case stated she did not want the defendant to be sentenced to more prison time and requested the court sentenced Oliver to “time-served.” Oliver was detained at the local detention center for 220 days.

However, the state had a different appeal for the judge, Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Morton requested a nine year prison sentence for the defendant, whom she described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Following a Feb. 9 plea agreement, the defendant had guidelines of four to nine years in prison; Morton stated to the court that the defendant was already receiving a “huge benefit” by only facing a maximum of nine years in prison – the maximum sentence for first-degree assault is 25 years.

“Today is not just about Mr. Oliver, it’s about justice and accountability for the victim.”

Morton stated the victim and the defendant had a “friends with benefits” relationship and stated Oliver could not accept “no for an answer” when the victim told Oliver she “wanted a break and began seeing someone else.”

Morton stated during the assault, the defendant told the victim, “If I can’t have you, no one can.”

Morton also stated even after his arrest and incarceration, the defendant “still couldn’t take no for an answer” and contacted the victim from jail. The victim did accept his calls, to which the state reasoned was because she wanted to understand why he committed such actions against her.

The state also argued that Oliver contacted the victim’s family members to have them speak to her and convince her to drop the charges.

During the court proceedings, the state played a recording between Detective Mudd and the victim, who said Oliver dragged her and put his weight on her and began straggling her.

She told the detective that her and the defendant had the understanding of their platonic relationship. The state then presented photographs to the court of the scene, the victim, and of Oliver. The victim had bruising to her face, scratches to her throat/neck and a fractured nose. Morton also stated the victim visited the dentist due to the altercation, as well as, an ear, nose and throat doctor. Morton also claimed the victim could not immediately return to work and sought out counseling.

“[She] will forever have to live with these horrific moments,” Morton stated to the court. “We’re very fortunate to be talking to [the victim] and not about [the victim] because that’s how close she came to losing her life.”

Crea Axley Jacobson and Jason Axley served as defense council for Oliver and stated the case against their client was “not as cut and dry as the state would have you believe.”

Jacobson stated her client went to the victim’s home “to talk to her” and stated Oliver and the victim were intimate a few days prior and “hung out” the night before the attack.

“He did not intend…to attack her and kill her. He went over, he intended to talk to [the victim] and it got out of hand…”

“He’s not this horrible, terrible monster. …Were not taking for light what happened, but even the person who was hurt said he is a good guy,” Jacobson said to the court.

Jacobson also informed the court that her client had sole custody of his 16-year-old daughter and said Oliver took his daughter to college campuses, as well as, basketball tournaments, “to ensure his daughter did better than him.”

Jacobson requested no prison time – only electronic monitoring for her client.

During the court proceedings, multiple people spoke on the defendant’s behalf, with similar sentiments saying how hard of a worker he was and how great of a father he was to his teenage daughter. Those who spoke also offered Oliver had a place to stay and employment, upon his release from prison.

During the court proceedings, the victim’s cousin, Sherri Jones, spoke on Oliver’s behalf. Jones said she spoke with both the victim and the defendant on a regular basis and said Oliver was like an “older brother” to her.

Jones’ husband was killed nine years ago in a motorcycle accident, while she was pregnant with her son, and said Oliver was “one of the few people” who came into her life after her husband passed away.

“Terrence plays a major role in my son’s life, as well as my daughter. I have since remarried and had another child, but Terrence is still an uncle and father figure to all my children.”

The defendant’s cousin, Vaughn Thomas, who told Oliver to take the victim to the hospital the day of the attack, said his cousin “was devastated” about his actions.

“When I picked him up from Annapolis that day, he was crying; he was devastated.”

Toward the end of the hearing, Oliver was given a chance to address the court. He first apologized to the victim, stating he never meant to hurt her.

“I made a terrible, terrible mistake. I wish this never happened.”

“You couldn’t have been better represented – not just by your attorneys, but by family and friends,” the judge said to the defendant.

The judge said while he does not believe the defendant was a “wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing” – he did refer to the defendant as a “ticking time bomb.”

“She’s a victim in every sense of the word and she was treated like she was not a person, but property,” the judge said to Oliver.

Judge Chandlee said his sentence was a “huge break” and works in Oliver’s advantage.

Along with the seven-year prison term, Oliver has to provide a DNA sample; submit and pay for drug testing; submit to mental health treatment; and attend and complete an abuser intervention program.

The judge also said he would send a referral for Oliver to serve his prison sentence at the Patuxent Institute.

Upon his release, Oliver is on five years of supervised probation.

Oliver was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, kidnapping, carjacking, seconddegree assault, and reckless endangerment.

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