Former Harford County Sheriff’s Major Mark Forwood on Monday pled guilty in Harford County District Court to one count of theft under $1,000 for misdemeanor shoplifting and will face sentencing Wednesday, according to his attorney.
The charge dates back to late November, when Forwood was caught shoplifting from the Home Depot store in Bel Air. Forwood was fired on Nov. 30, but no specific reason was given for his dismissal.
It was the second time the county’s then-top investigator was accused of theft that year; on Nov. 1 he was charged with involvement in a theft scheme between $1,000 and $10,000 and improper conduct in office. Those charges were filed following months-long investigation into Forwood, who had been hand-picked by Sheriff Jesse Bane to head up the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division.
Sentencing has not yet been imposed on Forwood for the misdemeanor shoplifting charge, but his representative, Bel Air attorney Gus Brown, has an indication of how that might go.
“Judge [Susan] Hazlett said she is thinking of imposing [a] 6 month sentence – I don’t recall she said that for certain she would impose that amount,” Brown said Monday afternoon.
According to court records, following Monday’s plea Forwood’s case status was listed as “sub-curia,” a legal term meaning that the court is holding the matter under consideration, waiting for something else to happen.
Brown said Forwood will get a chance to present allocution, which he described as “the technical term given to the formality of giving a Defendant the opportunity to explain why a sentence or judgment should not be imposed by the judge.”
Forwood’s sentencing in the shoplifting case has been set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, weather permitting.
The trial for the earlier theft scheme and misconduct charges is expected to commence on March 2 in Harford County Circuit Court.
Speaking about this week’s guilty plea and sentencing in the shoplifting case, Brown clarified that “the other pending case is not affected by this case.”
Check back with The Dagger for further updates to this breaking story.
Wow, justice moves right along when it’s not an election year!
Is that the only charge they could pin on the tail of this Donkey? An F’in misdemeanor? How silly. Why in the world would they let this guy get away with pleading to a lesser offense. This should have been a felony theft plea or a trial. A message needs to be sent, heard, understood and acknowledged by all that even high ranking cops can not and must not escape justice. Also, a felony would ensure former Major would never be allowed to own a firearm anywhere, or become a police officer again. Since his ostensible misdemeanor conviction has a max sentence of 18 months, former Major could go purchase a firearm the same day he is released. Whoever the prosecutor was that agreed to this should resign! Someone should submit a FOIA request for all the records and then send them to a TV news station to embarrass the crap out of that prosecutor.
The felony charges haven’t gone to trial yet (according to the article that one starts in March.)
Brian Goodman says
The misdemeanor was just for the shoplifting under $1,000 charge.
Forwood still faces the charges of misconduct in office and involvement in a theft scheme between $1,000 and $10,000 – the former being another misdemeanor and the latter being a felony.
@Whereisjustice. There is much more to come on Mark Forwood, the disgraced Major who was hand-picked by Sheriff Bane to head up the entire investigations function of the Sheriff’s Office. An additional shame regarding this entire issue is that it was uncovered during an election year in which Bane was seeking reelection. As a result justice for Mark Forwood was delayed until the election was over to limit the bad press for Sheriff Bane.
Anyone find out what his sentence was?
He was ordered to serve six years with all but 18 months suspended on the 1,000 to 10,000 theft and misconduct charges,and he was ordered to serve 18 months with all but 6 months suspended on the 1,000 and under theft charge, to be served concurrently with the 18 months on the more serious charge. His time in jail will be served in the Balt County Detention Center. All together he will serve 18 months. with time off for good behavior and time off if he is eligible for work release and participates in the program.
That’s all???? I would say that I am shocked but I really am not. Hope all the Bane lovers now know what kind of men he appoints to trusted positions.
I know it does not sound like a very significant sentence, but that is about typical for first time convictions with no prior arrests, wherein the crime did not involve violence or the use of a weapon.
Actually, with as often as they hand out PBJ’s I’m kinda surprised they actually gave him any jail time….
People who’ve never seen what actually happens in court might think he got off easy, but Joe Dirtbag probably would’ve gotten even less time (and that’s with JD having a prior criminal record….with no record it would probably be a suspended sentence and supervised probation.)
This is typical Harford County politics. David Craig, Billy Boniface, McMahon will all go out of their way to protect Jesse Bane. Jesse Bane has clearly protected Forwood every step of the way at Harford County Taxpayer expense.
king of common sense says
I work every day in the Harford County courtrooms and as bad as this sounds these sentences are not too far off from what your typical civilian would receive. If anything, they are actually harsher than what your average joe would get. Almost all people are given the benefit of a PBJ or a suspended sentence on the first conviction. It is clear to anyone that has any experience with the criminal justice system that he has received no favors. I’m not saying that I don’t think he should have to serve the entire six years because I do, I’m pointing out that his sentence is on par with what any citizen would have received for this.