A Baltimore man, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to second degree murder, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for the death of a Belcamp man in a "horrific" accident that occurred on what already was a horrific day in Harford County last winter.
On Feb. 10, the same day two Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies were murdered, Donzell Trent stole a car from Royal Farms on Route 152 in Joppa then drove it more than 100 mph along the busy, two-lane road before crashing head-on into a car driven by Vannes Turner, 26, of Belcamp.
Mr. Turner, who was driving north on Route 152, was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died.
The crash occurred a little more than an hour after Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey was fatally shot inside the Panera Bread cafe in Abingdon where he had gone to investigate a complaint about a man with a possible outstanding warrant.
Not all among the thousands of people paying last respects to Harford County Sheriff's Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon this week knew them personally, but those who did, there was something special about both.
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Shortly after noon, Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, who had responded to aid Senior Deputy Dailey, was shot in a nearby parking lot by the same man, David Evans, who was then shot to death by other deputies at the scene. Senior Deputy Dailey died at Shock Trauma; Deputy First Class Logsdon died at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.
"It was a horrific accident. And it was very random act where a young man lost his life," Deputy State's Attorney Diane Adkins Tobin, who prosecuted the case with Assistant State's Attorney D. Mark Meehan, said Thursday. "The actions of Mr. Trent were very callous and really showed a complete disregard for the safety of every person on the street that day."
Trent, 26, of the 700 block of East 21st Street in Baltimore, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder before Harford County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Mahoney, who sentenced Trent to 30 years in jail, with all but 20 years suspended. He will be on five years supervised probation after he is released. The plea was entered the day before Trent was supposed to go on trial.
Mr. Turner's family was satisfied with the plea and the sentence, as was Tobin, she said. The victim's brother gave a written statement to the court, saying nothing could bring his brother back, according to Tobin.
"I really feel that justice was served. I feel the outcome was exactly what needed to happen because this was more than just an accident. It was more than just reckless driving," Tobin said. "I was someone who intentionally drove a car 100 mph down a two-lane road in Harford County without a care in the world of who may get in the way."
Trent had stolen a 2006 silver Range Rover parked at the Royal Farms in the 2600 block of Mountain Road in Joppa at about 12:48 p.m. on Feb. 10, according to court records.
Witnesses reported the Range Rover was traveling at high speeds in the area of Route 152 and Trimble roads in Edgewood, a few miles south of the Royal Farms, when it crashed head-on into a 1997 Acura driven by Mr. Turner, of the 4300 block of Declaration Circle in Belcamp.
Following the crash, Trent ran from the crash scene a few miles south of the Royal Farms but was stopped by witnesses and held until police arrived.
Trent's public defender, Thomas Ashwell, said he was as pleased as he could be with the outcome of the case.
"Very unfortunate circumstances led to the plea, so under the circumstances it was a good plea," Ashwell said. "But it's a young man who's going to have to spend an awful lot of time in prison for what is a terrible tragedy for another young man's family."
The accident was investigated by Maryland State Police troopers, who took over law enforcement in Harford immediately following the shootings of the two deputies.
"That [the crash] happened the same day deputies Logsdon and Dailey were killed added to everyone's stress level that day," Tobin said. "We appreciate the Maryland State Police stepping in and taking over the investigation. They did an outstanding job."