DOUBLING DOWN -St. Mary’s States Attorney Sterling’s Bill to increase penalties for manslaughter passes Senate, still pending in House following the DUI death of Jamari Duckett; DUI Killer Matthew Mazza sentenced to ten years in prison

Officer Noah Leotta Memorial Sobriety Checkpoint on Dec. 16, 2015, on Rt. 228 Waldorf Md. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo
The remains of a fatal crash of a DWI driver in St. James, Md., in St. Mary’s County in 2003.
Thomas-Cyrus-Jr.-DWI-killer-racked-up-5-DWI-arrests-and-killed-a-baby-in-a-DWI-crash-on-Md.-Rt.-5-in-Park-Hall-Md. As EMS and firefighters worked to save the life of the baby who was in the car that Cyrus struck on Rt. 5 at Thompson’s Orchard, Cyrus complained that no one was tending to his minor scratches. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Longtime Democrat House Judiciary Chairman and Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph Vallario blocked increases in DUI and Manslaughter penalties for decades

House Judiciary Chairman Joseph Vallario

Member of House of Delegates, January 8, 1975 to January 9, 2019 (representing District 27A, Calvert & Prince George’s Counties, 1975-2015; District 23B, Prince George’s County, Jan. 14, 2015 to Jan. 9, 2019). Chair, Judiciary Committee, 1993-2019 (member, 1975-93). Member, Drunk and Drugged Driving Task Force, 1988-90;


Matthew Mark Mazza Sentenced to Maximum Penalty of 10 Years in Prison for 2022 Motor Vehicle Manslaughter

 St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling reported that Matthew Mark Mazza, 28, of Lexington Park, Maryland, was sentenced to the maximum penalty of ten years in prison for the felony manslaughter by motor vehicle that tragically took the life of an 18-year-old victim.

On July 9, 2022, at approximately 3:35 am, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a motor vehicle collision. Preliminary investigation determined that a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado, operated by Mazza, was traveling on Willows Road when it struck the rear end of a 2015 Ford Focus, operated by Jamari Tyrese Duckett, 18, of Great Mills, Maryland. Mr. Duckett was transported to an area hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, July 10, 2022.

DUI Killer Mazza Was Operating at Twice the Speed Limit on Willows Road

Sterling reported that evidence showed that seconds before the crash, Mazza was driving at speeds between 76 MPH and 91 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. A blood test proved Mazza’s blood alcohol concentration level was 0.13 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

St.-Marys-States-Attorney-Jaymi-Sterling-with-her-former-boss-Federal-Judge-Alex-Williams. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

“While my office fought for and received the maximum penalty allowable by law, justice demands more. When drunk driving at extreme speeds steals the life of a young man, ten years is never enough. I will not stop until the penalty for this crime accounts for its devastation. With the support of Jamari’s family, I will be partnering with Senator Jack Bailey and Delegate Brian Crosby to change this law to increase the maximum penalty,” said State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling.

At the sentencing hearing, the State requested Mazza be sentenced to the maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The Maryland Sentencing Guidelines called for a sentence between three months and four years. The Court imposed ten years, which is the maximum sentence allowable by law.

Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Boyd prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of St. Mary’s County. Corporal Brandon Foor of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigator.

46855 MORNING DEW LN., #204
LEXINGTON PARK MD Zip 20653-0000
Race: White Sex: Male Height: 5’11” Weight: 170
DOB: 07/09/1995

The attorney for Mazza was Andrew Alpert of Bowie, Md.



St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling joined Jamari’s parents, John Duckett and Shownda Greenwell, who testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee in strong support of Jamari’s Law, which would increase the maximum penalties for manslaughter by vehicle from 10 to 20 years, and 15 to 30 years for any subsequent convictions.

St. Mary’s County States Attorney Jaymi-Sterling-Sen.-Jack-Bailey-and-father-of-Jamari Duckett, John Duckett, center,-upon-passing-of-Jamaris-Law-in-Maryland-Senate.

Sterling called the bill a “critical” and “urgent” piece of legislation that will allow prosecutors to better seek justice for the loved ones of senselessly slain victims.

Jamari’s extended family, friends, advocates, the loved ones of other victims tragically killed by motor vehicle fatalities, and prosecutors throughout the State also provided supporting testimony for Jamari’s Law.

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