A Laurel man was sentenced to 16 years in prison in Howard County Circuit Court Friday in the attempted armed carjacking of a clergyman last summer, according to State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.
James Holmead Johnston, 27, of the 9800 block of Robinson Boulevard, was sentenced by Judge William V. Tucker after pleading guilty earlier this year to attempted armed carjacking and gun charges.
Howard County Police said the victim — the pastor of a local church — grabbed the gun and used it to scare away Johnston.
Kirwan said Johnston asked the pastor of a North Laurel church for a ride on Aug. 20, 2012.
During the ride, Johnston pulled out a revolver, demanded $300 from his victim and ordered the cleric out of the car, Kirwan said. As Johnston climbed into the driver's seat, the pastor struggled with Johnston and gained control of the gun, according to the prosecution.
When Johnston demanded the return of his gun, the pastor discharged the weapon into the ground, causing the assailant to retreat, according to the prosecution.
Tucker sentenced Johnston to 16 years on the conviction on attempted armed carjacking and five years on the use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime, to be served concurrent to the 16-year sentence, Kirwan said.