State-mandated COVID-19 orders are NOT to be played with — and one Maryland man is learning the hard way.
Police arrested 42-year-old Shawn Marshall Myers in March after he threw two functions in his home, each of which had 50 people present, NBC News reports. Back then, Gov. Larry Hogan had instituted an emergency order that limits gatherings to 10 people or less.
The first time officers visited Myers’ home was on March 22, when they were responding to complaints of a huge gathering. “Large gatherings were strictly prohibited under the orders. Myers had approximately fifty people in attendance at his residence,” Tony Covington, state’s attorney for Charles County, said in a press release. “Upon arrival, officers told Myers that his party violated the current mandate. Myers was argumentative with officers but eventually agreed to disband his party.”
Police responded to a second call to the home less than a week later when Myers was having another party that had over 50 guests. Myers refused to stop the party and argued with officers. “Officers tried to reason with Myers and obtain his cooperation to no avail. Myers was then apprehended,” according to the press release.
Myers has been sentenced to one year in prison for two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order. He has also been directed to pay a $5,000 fine and will be on unsupervised probation for three years after his stint in jail.
Covington told NBC that Myers’ refusal to comply with the police’s warnings could have endangered others. “These decisions were made for the public good, for people’s safety,” he said. “We’ve got 200,000 people dead because of the attitudes that Mr. Myers demonstrated that particular day.”
“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,” he added.
The governor’s renewed emergency order permits gatherings of up to 50 people.
He DID get a warning!