BY KEN ROSSIGNOL
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
NEWS ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
WALDORF, MD. – When an ex-con with a loaded gun is found lying in the hallway of an apartment building and whisked off to jail, the move is only temporary due to the habit of Charles County Judge Andrea Watkins of letting dangerous criminals loose immediately after their capture.
Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports that on September 13 at 3:27 a.m., officers responded to the 3000 block of Gallery Place in Waldorf to check on the welfare of a man lying in the hallway of an apartment building.
When officers arrived, they observed the man on the ground and a round (ammunition) next to him. They also observed what appeared to be a firearm in his pocket. The officers assessed the man’s condition and noted he was conscious, not injured, and was possibly intoxicated. Officers safely recovered the gun and determined it was loaded. The gun had been reported stolen in November 2021. A check revealed the man is prohibited from possessing regulated firearms due to a prior felony conviction.
Delonta Maurice Coates, 35, (DOB 07/12/1987) of 10666 Sourwood Ave, Waldorf, Maryland, was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a regulated firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, illegal carrying of a concealed weapon, and other charges.
On September 14, 2022, District Court Judge Andrea Watkins released Coates from the Charles County Detention Center on personal recognizance, which means he just waltzed out of jail without posting a bond or having anyone post bail for him to assure he shows up for trial. Judge Watkins apparently is not concerned about a hoodlum like Coates obtaining another gun in his travels around Waldorf as she doesn’t face the crime, drugs, and shootings that take place in Waldorf. Judge Watkins lives an idyllic life on a four-acre parcel of land in rural Marbury, far from the blood and gore of Waldorf. Were she to move to Oak Manor or Ell Lane, she might have found a way to keep Coates in the slammer.
Officer S. Cannon was the arresting officer.
The taxpayers of Maryland will be overjoyed to learn that they are providing a free attorney for this dangerous scumbag. A trial is set for October 28, 2022, in Charles County District Court.
In Charles County Circuit Court on February 27, 2015, Circuit Court Judge Hayward West sentenced Coates to prison on felony convictions of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery for seven years. Judge West suspended a total of five years and two months, gave Coates credit for 27 days of time served, and allowed probation of three years after Coates served the one year and ten months in the local hoosegow.
On July 27, 2010, before District Court Judge Kenneth Talley, Coates entered a guilty plea to theft and was sentenced to sixty days in the slammer.