A 42-year-old man in Maryland was sentenced Friday to one year in prison after throwing two large parties in violation of the governor's coronavirus protective orders.
Shawn Marshall Myers was convicted of two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order and was immediately sentenced to serve a year in the Charles County Detention Center and three years of unsupervised probation after his release, the Charles County State's Attorney's Office (CCSAO) said.
Myers had hosted a party at his home in Hughesville on March 22 with approximately 50 guests, despite statewide coronavirus safety orders from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that banned large gatherings. When law enforcement officers arrived at his home, Myers was "argumentative," prosecutors said, but eventually agreed to disband the party.
Officers responded again to reports of another large party at Myers' home five days later. He also argued with officers this time, according to prosecutors, and told them that it was within his and his guests' right to congregate. Myers told his guests to defy statewide protective orders and the officers' request that they leave, prosecutors said, and he was then arrested.
Myers, who posted bond in April while awaiting trial, told FOX5 at the time that he regretted his handling of the situation.
"I definitely regret the way I handled it. I wish I had been more informed and given the opportunity to do it over again, I wouldn't do it the same way," he said.
He told FOX5 that he did not take the pandemic seriously at first, but while in jail watched news coverage about the virus and learned that a friend of his was sick with COVID-19.
The US has had more than 7 million coronavirus cases and more than 200,000 deaths so far. Maryland has recorded 122,972 cases and 3,925 deaths.