Taneytown woman sentenced to 20 years, all but six suspended, for armed robberies

Taneytown woman sentenced to 20 years, all but six suspended, for armed robberies
Ann Marie Knights was sentenced to six years in prison September 6 for her participation in a string of 2015 armed robberies. Full story here. (Submitted photo / HANDOUT)

A Taneytown woman was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for her participation in a string of 2015 armed robberies.

Ann Marie Knights, 22, of the unit block of Middle Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and one count of attempted armed robbery in January. Presiding Judge Fred Hecker sentenced Knights to 20 years in prison, suspending all but six, for the three counts, with five years supervised probation after her release.


Knights was arrested in July 2015 with David Beene, of Owings Mills, in connection with four armed robberies and two attempted armed robberies in which Knights drove the getaway car and Beene entered the stores and committed the robberies.

Beene was sentenced to 20 years in January for his participation.

Knights' sentencing was postponed because she was pregnant. Both Knights' husband and mother-in-law told Hecker and the court that she plays a large role in caring for the infant, who they said has medical issues.

"She cares for my granddaughter. She gives her good care," Knights' mother-in-law, Kathleen McGehrin, told Hecker.

Knights' daughter with Bryan McGehrin has medical problems that will require surgery, defense attorney Stephen Bourexis told Hecker. He asked that Knights' sentencing be postponed again or that she be placed on home detention until after the surgery.

Bryan McGehrin also told Hecker that it will be difficult to balance a job with raising his daughter as a single parent.

Another point of contention among the defense and state was Knights' heroin addiction. Knights told Hecker that she has been using drugs since she was 13 years old and started using heroin when she was 20.

"This horrible drug took my life away from me," she told the court.

Knights and both McGehrins told Hecker that, with the exception of one relapse, she had been doing well in treatment. Her attorney added that prison is not an ideal place for someone with a drug addiction.

"The system is often times designed to recycle people who are at risk," Bourexis said during the hearing.

In response, Deputy State's Attorney Ned Coyne told the court that the state could not determine if it was only one relapse because Knights had not shown up to pretrial services for some of her drug testing in July and August.

The state asked for 12 years, noting the seriousness of the armed robberies. During the hearing, Coyne read a victim impact statement from the owner of Esquire Liquors, one of the stores hit by Beene and Knights.

"These crime are violent offenses," Coyne told the court. "They are armed robberies."

After the hearing, Coyne was encouraged to see that Hecker sentenced Knights to six years, holding her accountable for her violent crimes, Coyne said.


Bourexis said Hecker "gave a sentence with great thought."