State's Attorney's Office for Charles County

State's Attorney's Office for Charles County The State’s Attorney’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of State criminal laws within the geographical borders of Charles County, Maryland.

Official page of the Charles County State's Attorney's Office. We reserve the right to remove any comments that are vulgar, disrespectful, or disparaging. This page was created to highlight activities of the agency. The State's Attorney's Office is responsible for the enforcement of State criminal laws within the geographical borders of the County. It is an office created by the Constitution of Maryland. The State's Attorney's Office presents cases in the District and Circuit Court. Cases in the District Court include misdemeanors (e.g., assault, destruction of property, theft, drug possession) and jailable traffic offenses (e.g., drunk driving, fleeing and eluding, driving while suspended). Felonies (e.g., murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, sexual offenses, burglary, drug distribution), jury trial prayers, and appeals from the District Court are prosecuted in the Circuit Court by the State's Attorney's Office. The State's Attorney's Office also handles juvenile cases. The State's Attorney's Office is designated as the forfeiting agent for drug forfeitures involving both personal and real property. The State's Attorney's Office also presents cases on behalf of the Child Support Enforcement Unit in cases establishing paternity, setting child support payments, and enforcing those payments. The State's Attorney's Office is located in the basement of the Charles County Courthouse in La Plata. The police regularly consult with the State's Attorney's Office during criminal investigations. The State's Attorney's Office also has a specialized Victim/Witness Unit that apprises victims of the status of criminal prosecution.

Operating as usual

Missed the latest issue of the “Tony Talks Charles County Crime” e-newsletter? Catch up now.Featured: A Message from the...
07/31/2020
SAO Quarter 2 Recap

Missed the latest issue of the “Tony Talks Charles County Crime” e-newsletter? Catch up now.
Featured: A Message from the State’s Attorney about the SAO and COVID-19, Podcast Update, Resources, and more.
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Please note that you can sign up for our newsletter to be sent directly to your email by clicking on "Newsletter Sign Up" on our page or by signing up on our website http://ccsao.us/newsletter-sign-up/.

In the wake of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — a victim of police brutality — Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington (D) is calling for a Charles County Civilian Review Board.

Visitors of the Charles County Circuit Courthouse are now required to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to...
07/29/2020
COVID-19 Updates - CCSAO

Visitors of the Charles County Circuit Courthouse are now required to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to entrance. You can find the questionnaire, as well as SAO-related Covid-19 updates here: http://ccsao.us/covid19/

  The SAO is still engaged in its operations. If you need to contact us, you can call 301-932-3350. If you had a court hearing that was previously scheduled during this period of closure, a new date will be set and you will get notification in the mail regarding a new court date. Charles County Cir...

When the summer heat hits, it is important to stay cool and hydrated. Due to COVID-19, normal Charles County cooling cen...
07/20/2020

When the summer heat hits, it is important to stay cool and hydrated. Due to COVID-19, normal Charles County cooling center locations are not available. The following locations will be available from 11am to 7pm for the duration of the heat advisory:

* Willing Helper's Hall - 1002 Washington Avenue, La Plata
* New Hope COG - 4200 Old Washington Road, Waldorf
* Waldorf West Library - 10405 O'Donnell Place, Waldorf
* Village Green - 100 Walters Thomas Road, Indian Head
* La Plata High School Outdoor Pool - 6035 Radio Station Road, La Plata
—Monday and Wednesday, Noon - 7 p.m.
—Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, Noon - 8 p.m
—Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 6 p.m.

Facemasks and social distancing are required at these locations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To avoid heat-related issues, take additional precautions if you work or spend time outside during extreme heat. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

*Also, NEVER leave your children or pets in a vehicle for ANY reason!*

My proposal to create a Civilian Review Board (CRB) has generated many requests for information about the potential boar...
06/30/2020

My proposal to create a Civilian Review Board (CRB) has generated many requests for information about the potential board and how citizens can get involved. With so much interest and so many questions, it makes sense to me to hold a virtual Q&A. Please join me on Thursday, July 2 at 7pm on Zoom to discuss the CRB.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0od--tqTooE9zIMM_d4QKLxCfhNEJaePGN

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

On June 3, 2020, I issued a statement that, among other things, advocated for the creation of a Civilian Review Board (C...
06/29/2020
Statement from State's Attorney Tony Covington Regarding Civilian Review Board - CCSAO

On June 3, 2020, I issued a statement that, among other things, advocated for the creation of a Civilian Review Board (CRB) to review citizen claims of excessive force by police in Charles County. On June 12th and 26th, Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry, issued releases that, among other things, advocated for the re-constitution of the Board of Public Safety (BPS) to provide “review and oversight of the entire criminal justice system in Charles County.” I have been repeatedly asked if the Sheriff is proposing the BPS as a substitute for a CRB. I do not know the answer to that question. I can say, however, that I would not support any use of the BPS as a substitute for a properly organized CRB.

I have many reasons why I would not support the BPS as an oversight body for excessive force complaints that I will not address in this release. To hear my reasons, please listen to our “Civilian Review Board” podcast which can be found on the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) website, www.CCSAO.us.

So everyone is clear on the type of CRB that I will support, below I have outlined the structure/make-up of what I believe would be an effective CRB. This list is not exhaustive nor is it touted as the only way an effective CRB can be organized. For more details about the makeup of a CRB, again please listen to our “Civilian Review Board” podcast.

Civilian Review Board (CRB)

- The CRB will review all use of force resulting in death or serious bodily injury, all instances of use of deadly force and any citizen complaint of excessive use of force.
- The CRB will be independent from and operate independently from all police agencies.
- The CRB will be comprised of 9 volunteer members who must be residents of the County. None of the CRB members will be elected officials, police officers of any jurisdiction, or a person with a vested interest in the County or a police agency.
- The CRB members will be selected by a combination of the County Board of Commissioners, Charles County legislative delegation, County police agencies, Ministers Coalition, and willing community groups like the Women of Action Charles County, NAACP, Lifestyles etc.
- In addition to the 9-member board, there will be a non-voting police advisor and a non-voting legal advisor attached to the CRB.
- Initially, CRB will have a full-time investigator and a full-time administrator.Staff may increase depending on the volume of cases.
- The CRB will have the same subpoena authority that all State’s Attorneys in Maryland have under Maryland’s Criminal Procedure Article, Section 15-108.
- After review, the CRB will issue a report of its findings to the public.
- If appropriate, the CRB will make public recommendations to the involved police agency and the State’s Attorney.
- The CRB report and recommendations shall be maintained and available to the public.

On June 3, 2020, I issued a statement that, among other things, advocated for the creation of a Civilian Review Board (CRB) to review citizen claims of excessive force by police in Charles County. On June 12thand 26thCharles County Sheriff Troy Berry, issued releases that, among other things, advoca...

Congratulations to our newest Assistant State's Attorney, Justin R. Ervin.
06/15/2020

Congratulations to our newest Assistant State's Attorney, Justin R. Ervin.

In 1963, while standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We can never be satisf...
06/03/2020

In 1963, while standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” Since then those unspeakable horrors have relentlessly continued to be visited upon men of color. The latest heartbreaking outrage is the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minnesota.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family, loved ones and friends. I know, however, that condolences are not enough. Neither is outrage. We have all been outraged and sent our sincere condolences to far too many victims already: Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Kelly Thomas, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Antwon Rose II, O’Shae Terry. The list keeps growing — but it does not have to. To stop this list from getting longer, to stop the dreadful brutality, all of us, today, right now, must couple our sincere outrage and sympathies with purposed, solution-focused action. With action we can achieve the change we want and need. The action must come from leaders and citizens alike. It is everyone’s responsibility.

As a leader here in Charles County, I want to tell you about actions I am taking to hopefully be a part of the solution to this curable national problem. To begin, I am calling upon the recently formed Charles County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) to immediately schedule forums or meetings to allow community organizations and citizens to present their solution-focused, actionable proposals designed to eliminate police brutality. We must first devise an action plan before we can execute it.
I am also calling for a Charles County Civilian Review Board that will review allegations of abuse and brutality by police officers. Please understand this is not a criticism of our local police agencies. My long-time advocacy of such a body stems from the recognition that no matter how “good” a police agency is, for the community to believe accountability is possible, the system of review must be designed to be impartial and transparent. A civilian review body, like those operating in many jurisdictions throughout the land, provides that structure.

Also, I have reached out to the police agencies operating in Charles County to review protocols and procedures for the investigation and prosecutorial review of brutality allegations. Likewise, I am reviewing with my prosecutorial colleagues across the State legislative proposals that will improve accountability.

Sadly, for the umpteenth time, Americans have had to take to the streets to demand accountability and justice for another soul killed by the police. Now is the time for the unjustifiable killing of black men to stop. Our lives matter too.

To make the killings stop all of us must engage in persistent, consistent, and permanent action. In short, we must follow through. If we do, we can ensure that George Floyd’s death continuously has meaning. Let his death not be in vain. Instead, let his death mark the day when we, as one nation, under God, began the eradication of police brutality so one day soon we can — at least on this point — “be satisfied.”

Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this country. Today, and every day, we appreciate their ...
05/25/2020

Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this country. Today, and every day, we appreciate their service and sacrifice for this country and our freedoms.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, resources ar...
05/12/2020

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, resources are available.

Contact Charles County Health Dept Monday through Friday (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) at 301-609-6900. If calling after hours, call 2-1-1, then press 1 to connect with a helpline representative.

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #BeKindToYourMind

“I think Charles County citizens can be rest assured everyone in the system is doing a very diligent job and sincerely l...
05/01/2020
Some Charles County detainees released

“I think Charles County citizens can be rest assured everyone in the system is doing a very diligent job and sincerely looking at the situation and making the best decisions they can to protect the communities at large and protect the detention centers,” Covington said. “All you can do is sincerely look at things and have the right motives. They wont always agree.”

A news release from Charles County State’s Attorney Anthony Covington states that — in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in detention centers — some inmates in Charles

Tune in to today's Commissioners’ meeting discussing the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The County Commissioners will be holdi...
04/28/2020

Tune in to today's Commissioners’ meeting discussing the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The County Commissioners will be holding this public meeting “virtually.” You can watch on Charles County Government Television (CCGTV), which airs on Comcast Channel 95 and Verizon Channel 10 or at https://www.charlescountymd.gov/our-county/ccgtv-live-stream.

State's Attorney Tony Covington will speak regarding the State's Attorney's Office's budget.

Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-04-18-01 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 which, in the light of COVID-19, details s...
04/20/2020
Statement From State's Attorney Tony Covington Regarding Governor's Executive Order of April 18, 2020 - CCSAO

Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-04-18-01 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 which, in the light of COVID-19, details some circumstances and factors that Division of Correction (DOC) prisoners may be released early from confinement. While the Order applies to all inmates in the custody of the DOC, it does not apply to those inmates in the custody of local detention centers like the Charles County Detention Center. Nevertheless, I welcome this executive order and view the spirit contained within it as guidance for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Charles County.

As the State’s Attorney, I am intent that my office does everything it can to help prevent the spread and impact of COVID-19. While doing so, the public must also be protected from criminal behavior in our streets. This intersection of public safety based on a pandemic, on one hand, and public safety based on crime, on the other hand, makes decision-making more difficult than ever before. The Charles County community, however, should be confident that, based on my observations, all of the decision-makers in the Charles County CJS are making fully informed and well-considered decisions that they sincerely believe are in the best interest of everyone – including detained individuals – in our community.

From the beginning of this crisis, the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) has worked with the other branches of the CJS to reduce the jail’s population. Even though at the start of the crisis the detention center was occupied at less than 30%, the CJS still sought to reduce the population as low as possible while at the same time maintaining public safety. Many actions have been taken. For instance, at the Sheriff’s request, the Courts and the SAO cooperated to, almost immediately, put an end to work release and weekend sentences at the jail, thereby reducing the number of people coming in and out of the detention center daily.

The SAO has been reviewing the situation of every detainee in the detention center, whether or not a detainee or counsel has made a request for release, to determine whether their release would be appropriate and, if so, under what circumstances would they be released. As a result, many detainees have already been granted some type of release either by way of furlough, a reconsideration/modification of sentence, home detention, case dismissal, etc.

Also, well before the Governor’s latest order on this subject, the SAO has reviewed the situation of a number of inmates under the jurisdiction of DOC and housed someplace other than our local detention center. At the time of this press release, at least one of those individuals has been released.

Because of the proactive and robust efforts by the Charles County CJS to reduce our jail population, the number of cases that fall under the umbrella of the Governor’s new order may be small. That notwithstanding, the SAO, with the Governor’s order in mind, will re-look at the situation of every detainee/inmate in the local jail and make our recommendations to the Court if and when appropriate.

I ask everyone to follow the advice of public health experts and comply with all executive orders concerning COVID-19. It truly can be a matter of life or death.

Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-04-18-01 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 which, in the light of COVID-19, details some circumstances and factors that Division of Correction (DOC) prisoners may be released early from confinement. While the Order applies to all inmates in the custody of the DOC,....

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The recent tragic events resulting in the death of a 13-month-old due to...
04/15/2020

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The recent tragic events resulting in the death of a 13-month-old due to alleged abuse reminds us how vigilant we have to be in preventing this as a community.

Press Release: https://www.ccso.us/news/press-releases/2020/04/update-on-charges-relating-to-physical-child-abuse-case-from-march/

In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the SAO wears blue. Join us in supporting local families and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.
Everyone can make great childhoods happen—especially you, especially now!

Step up, speak up and stand up for a child in need. If you know of a child in danger, please report it to the police immediately.

On Monday, March 30, 2020 the Center for Children began offering client appointments via Telehealth conferencing. As an essential mental and behavioral health outpatient organization, their doors remain open to serve those in critical circumstances. For more information, contact the Center for Children.

04/10/2020

We’re sending a huge THANK YOU to all the healthcare providers, first-responders, and essential workers for your tireless efforts in keeping our communities healthy, safe, and with resources during this unprecedented time. We are grateful for your commitment and sacrifices!

Missed the latest issue of the “Tony Talks Charles County Crime” e-newsletter? Catch up now.Featured: A Message from the...
04/08/2020
SAO Quarter 1 Recap & COVID-19 Updates

Missed the latest issue of the “Tony Talks Charles County Crime” e-newsletter? Catch up now.
Featured: A Message from the State’s Attorney about the SAO and COVID-19, Resources, First Quarter’s Cases of Interest, and more.

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Please note that you can sign up for our newsletter to be sent directly to your email by clicking on "Newsletter Sign Up" on our page or by signing up on our website http://ccsao.us/newsletter-sign-up/.

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West sentenced Keith Allan Krikstan, 32 of Waldorf, to 25 years in prison for two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Production of Child Porno...

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PO Box 3065, 200 Charles St
La Plata, MD
20646

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Monday 08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 16:30

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(301) 932-3350

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