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.