Maryland man sentenced to 1 year in jail for holding large parties, violating state’s Covid-19 rules

A Maryland man was sentenced to a year in jail for holding two large parties and violating the state’s order against large gatherings, according to the Charles County state’s attorney’s office.

Shawn Marshall Myers, 42, was arrested after holding the parties in late March. Maryland’s Covid-19 social distancing rules banned gatherings of more than 10 people, according to the office of Gov. Larry Hogan.

Myers was convicted Friday of two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order and will serve his one-year sentence at the Charles County Detention Center, the state’s attorney’s office said in a press release.

Myers’ attorney, Hammad S. Matin, did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

After being confronted by law enforcement at his home in Hughesville, Maryland, on March 22, Myers agreed to disband the first gathering of about 50 people, after initially being “argumentative” with officers, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Myers held a second party with more than 50 people only five days later, though, which he refused to end, according to prosecutors.

“Officers told Myers to disband the party, but again he was argumentative claiming he and his guests had the right to congregate,” the release stated. “Beyond being argumentative, Myers directed his guests to stay in defiance of Governor Hogan’s Orders and the officers’ lawful orders to disband the party.”

Myers was taken into custody after officers were unable to obtain his cooperation, prosecutors said.

District Court Judge W. Louis Hennessy also sentenced Myers to three years of unsupervised probation upon his release and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine, according to the release.

CNN has also reached out to the Charles County Health Department on whether any Covid-19 cases in the county can be traced to the gatherings that Myers hosted.

Maryland currently has 122,972 Covid-19 cases and 3,935 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracking project.

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