A Circuit Court judge today suspended 27 days of a 60-day gambling sentence for Charles County's top elected official, but turned down the rest of the appeal and sent him back to jail to serve the remaining two weeks.
The 33 days County Commission President Marlan Deen will serve for possessing illegal video poker machines is consistent with penalties recently given to other county residents convicted of similar charges, Judge C. Clarke Raley said.
Deen, jailed on April 4 after his conviction, will be released May 5. He has been doing some official work in his cell, reviewing county documents.
Despite his attorney's contention that Deen was "seriously shaken," "humbled" and "ashamed" by his gambling conviction and subsequent jail experience, Raley refused to let the commissioner serve his remaining sentence on weekends or in the county's work-release program.
Special Prosecutor Gerald C. Ruter told the judge that Deen's attitude during his six-day trial was one of "quintessential disrespect and arrogance . . . . He treated the trial as a political rally, backslapping and handshaking supporters in front of the jury."
Ruter told Raley and the packed courtroom that releasing Deen would "abort the catharsis which has begun in Charles County" and "make a sham of the whole series of gambling prosecutions." He said he agreed with Raley that the county's attitude toward "the insidious disease of gambling" could only be cleansed if Deen stayed in jail.
The usually ebullient Deen appeared haggard and somber at today's hearing, wearing an oversized blue jail jumpsuit ripped up one leg to show the cowboy boots that are a standard feature of his attire.