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Maryland man sentenced to a year in prison for hosting large parties during pandemic

Maryland man sentenced to a year in prison for hosting large parties during pandemic
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A Maryland man is set to serve a year in prison after hosting two large parties at his home amid the state’s coronavirus restrictions on gatherings. 

A statement from the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday said that Shawn Marshall Myers, 42, was convicted of two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order after a bench trial before District Court Judge W. Louis Hennessy. 

The statement added that Myers will serve a year at the Charles County Detention Center, followed by a three-year unsupervised probation period.

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Prosecutors said in the statement that police officers first responded to reports of a large party at Myers’s home on March 22. Officers claim that an estimated 50 people were at the gathering, thus violating Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s state of emergency order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Myers reportedly began arguing with officers before eventually agreeing to end the party. 

Police were called to Myers’s home a second time on March 27 in response to “a party exceeding fifty people.” Officers said that Myers “was argumentative, claiming he and his guests had the right to congregate.” 

Officers then arrested Myers for refusing to comply. 

The sentencing comes as the Maryland Department of Health has recorded a total of nearly 123,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, as well as 3,780 deaths. Close to 350 people are currently hospitalized in the state due to the virus.