Craig Sudler Willis, aged 46, who resided at 124 West Main Street in Sudlersville, Maryland, pled guilty to First Degree Assault and Malicious Destruction of Property having a Value Greater Than $1,000, and was sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison with the sentence suspended after being ordered to serve ten years in the Maryland Division of Corrections, on April 24, 2018, for events which occurred back on September 17, 2017. Mr. Willis pled guilty and was sentenced before the Honorable Thomas G. Ross, Judge of and for the Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County.

The case was prosecuted by Lance G. Richardson, State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County.  Mr. Willis was represented by defense counsel Dan Rosendale of Centreville. The details of the incident stemmed from Mr. Willis holding a 20 gauge shotgun to his girlfriend and threatening to first kill her and then turn the gun on himself.  The events occurred inside Willis’ home in Sudlersville after the couple returned from a local bar.  The woman was able to call 911 from Willis’ cell phone when he left her alone in his house for a brief period of time while he smashed out the windows of her vehicle.  Fortunately the victim had seen Willis swipe his phone earlier and she remembered the pass code and she was able to use his phone to make the 911 call.   Willis also beat and kicked the woman over allegations of infidelity.

Willis has a criminal history consisting of drug possession, alcohol related destruction of property, and drunk driving offenses at the time he committed this crime.  Willis was ordered to be on five years of supervised probation after serving his prison sentence.  He was ordered to remain abstinent from alcohol and drugs, submit to mental health treatment, not to own or possess any firearms or deadly weapons, and not to have any contact with the victim.

State’s Attorney Lance Richardson thanked the Office of the Sheriff for Queen Anne’s County for their excellent investigation and handling of the matter.  The road deputies, led by Corporal Chad Hartmetz, were able to apprehend Willis without incident after the violent assault.  The criminal investigation Unit, led by Detective Steve Matthews, conducted a thorough investigation which resulted in the felony guilty plea.  Richardson was pleased with the sentence and the justice for the victim of this violent and heinous assault.