Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • Dorchester Star

    Two plead guilty in Eastern Shore Hospital Center shooting and escape


    6 days ago

    CAMBRIDGE — Two men have pleaded guilty to charges related to an August 2023 escape from the Eastern Shore Hospital Center.

    Darrin Jeter, 20, of Rockville, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised probation for first-degree escape. With eight years of his prison sentence suspended, Jeter will have to serve two years in prison and will get credit for 310 days already served.

    Israel Labastida Jr., 19, of Glen Burnie, pled guilty on Friday to one count of first-degree assault, use of a firearm during a felony or violent crime and first-degree conspiracy to escape. Maryland Circuit Court Judge Karen Dean granted Labastida's request to defer his sentencing approximately 90 days so that his family could be present.

    At Labastida's hearing, Dorchester County State's Attorney Amanda Leonard said the state is recommending Labastida be handed a sentence of a five-year mandatory minimum without parole, followed by five years of probation. Leonard said the state also recommends Labastida be required to stay away from the Eastern Shore Hospital Center and the facility's staff.

    Charges against Jeter and Labastida stem from Jeter's August 2023 escape from the Eastern Shore Hospital Center, a psychiatric facility located on Woods Road in Cambridge. At that time, Jeter, who has schizophrenia, had been committed to the hospital center.

    At both the Thursday hearing for Jeter and the Friday hearing for Labastida, Leonard said that Labastida approached the facility on Aug. 1 and shot into a window several times. She said Labastida and Jeter kicked out the broken window so Jeter could exit the building, and the two fled the area in a black vehicle.

    Jeter was located by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office the following day and has remained in custody since.

    During Jeter's plea hearing, Leonard said through an investigation, evidence of an escape plan between Jeter and Labastida was discovered. She said if the case had gone to trial, the state would have presented evidence that proves Jeter knew where to go during the escape.

    At Labastida's plea hearing, Leonard said Labastida was identified as a suspect through investigation, and she said Bay Bridge records show Labastida's car crossing the bridge to and from the Eastern Shore before and after the Aug. 1 incident.

    Leonard said through a search warrant, texts between Labastida and Jeter's girlfriend were discovered. Leonard said that in the text chain, Jeter's girlfriend told Labastida that Jeter had been apprehended, and Labastida replied that she should tell Jeter to keep quiet about him helping Jeter escape.

    Leonard said a handgun was found in Labastida's bedroom; ballistics testing found the spent shell casings discovered at the hospital center consistent with the handgun found in Labastida's room.

    Jeter, who's sentence was handed down by Dorchester County Circuit Court Judge William Jones on Thursday, was ordered to seek substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment with medication compliance and not make contact with Labastida.

    Before handing down the sentence, Jones called the set of facts presented during the hearing "very troubling." He said the people working in the hospital center that day should not have had to experience that.

    Jeter's attorney Archibald McFadden said Jeter has a detailed track record of mental health struggles. He said Jeter has had those struggles since childhood.

    McFadden also said he has spoken with Jeter's father regularly since taking on the case, and Jeter has a supportive family behind him. McFadden said if Jeter takes the steps to manage his mental health struggles now, it will benefit him as he gets older.

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0