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Maryland Man Gets Year in Jail for Hosting Parties Violating COVID-19 Crowd Restrictions

Shawn Marshall Myers, 42, of Hughesville was arrested in March when officers found more than 50 people hanging out around a bonfire at his home

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A judge sentenced a Maryland man to a year in the Charles County Detention Center for throwing parties that exceeded capacity restrictions at the beginning of the governor’s coronavirus emergency order.

Shawn Marshall Myers, 42, of Hughesville was arrested in March when officers found more than 50 people hanging out around a bonfire at his home.

At the time, Gov. Larry Hogan’s emergency order prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people.

The Charles County Sheriff's Office said it was the second time Myers hosted a large gathering at his house and he was accused of being argumentative with officers in both times.

“He was given a warning,” Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington said. “It’s not like the police just swooped in there and said you’re going to jail. They gave him a warning. He had at least 50 people the first day and then two, three days later, he’s doing the same thing. And the second day he’s of a mind that he’s not going to cooperate, he’s going to tell people to keep the music playing.”

On March 22 officers went to Myers’ home in the 15200 block of Lukes Lane after the report of a large party, according to the state’s attorney. Myers was argumentative but eventually agreed to disband his party.  

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Then on March 27, officers returned to the home for another report of a large party, according to the state’s attorney. This time, Myers claimed they had a right to congregate, refused to comply and was arrested.

A judge convicted Myers of two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order Friday after a bench trial and sentenced him immediately after the trial.

In addition to jail time, Myers was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and undergo three years of unsupervised probation after his release.

“These decisions were made for the public good, for people’s safety,” Covington said. “We’ve got 200,000 people dead because of the attitudes that Mr. Myers demonstrated that particular day.”

Currently, the governor’s emergency order allows gatherings up to 50 people.

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