By Michelle Guffey
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON A 24-year-old former Fort Hood soldier was sentenced Friday to 10 years deferred probation and 180 days in the Bell County Jail for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
Markus Tymarius Maddox, sentenced by Judge Martha Trudo of the 264th District Court for the Nov. 9, 2003, charge, was a member of the criminal street gang known as the Gangster Disciples based out of Chicago.
According to the arrest affidavit, Maddox and fellow gang member Brandon Reed robbed the Wolaes Convenience Store in Killeen. Maddox went into the store with a gun, pointed it at the clerk and demanded the money. Reed was waiting in the car parked behind the store.
In the affidavit, Reed stated that he and Maddox were ordered by Sgt. Jerome A. Smith, leader of the local GD, to commit a series of robberies and to hand over the money obtained to Smith.
Smith was sentenced last month to 99 years in prison for the Nov. 9, armed robbery. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as a member of a criminal street gang even though he wasnt in town when the incident occurred.
Maddoxs wife, Shanida Maddox, a soft-spoken, well-dressed woman, testified at his sentencing hearing.
She said she did not know he was a member of a gang, that he had never told her he joined a gang while stationed at Camp Stanley, South Korea.
Thats not the person I know, she said. I have no idea why he would do that.
Mrs. Maddox told the court that her mother, who lives in a different state, received threatening phone calls last Saturday. Two people called and told her that there was a death threat for her and me if Markus walked.
Mrs. Maddox told Judge Trudo that she knows her life will be in danger if she lives with him. Judge Trudo expressed concern that a way for the gang to control Maddox is to threaten his family.
As I understand it, once you join the GD, you join it for life, she said.
Maddox was called to the stand to testify. In a low, clear voice, he confirmed that there is a large gang presence in the military.
Why did you make the decision to do the robberies? Assistant District Attorney Michael Waldman asked.
Maddox replied it was because Smith and Reed were in trouble.
If I didnt do it, Smith would have dealt with me when he came back from Las Vegas, Maddox said.
Waldman told the judge that Maddox cooperated during Smiths trial two weeks ago. He provided significant cooperation with law enforcement. He told the truth during debriefing and while testifying.
Maddoxs defense attorney, Jon Jon McDurmitt, said no one deserves probation. But they do have the right to have it considered, he said.
Judge Trudo said it is hard to believe that this gang is so entrenched in the military. It also worries me that it is so entrenched locally, nationally and internationally, she said.
Trudo told Maddox that he was salvageable. I think that you can if you put your mind to it stay on the right side of the law, but I worry that I cant protect you, your family, or your wifes family, she said. When you joined this gang, you determined your future.
Judge Trudo ordered Maddox to serve day for day 180 days in the Bell County jail. As a condition of his probation, he is to have no contact with any GD or any other gang members.
Im taking a chance with you, she said.
In other court action Friday:
n Judge Trudo sentenced Kristen Jones, 23, of Killeen, to five years deferred probation for an Oct. 13, 2003, charge of theft in the amount of more than $1,500 but under $20,000.
n Judge Trudo sentenced Christopher Charles Cornelius, 33, of Arlington to five years deferred probation and $2,500 restitution for a Sept. 3, 2004, charge of failure to appear in court and a March 1, 1994, charge of theft under $20,000.
n Judge Rick Morris of the 146th District Court sentenced Felicia Jessica Lane, 29, of Killeen for a July 23, 2004, charge of fraudulent use of identifying information and for a Sept. 1, 2004, charge of possession of cocaine less than 1 gram.
n Judge Morris sentenced Harry Edward Bundy Jr., 40, of Belton to pay a $300 fine with 180 days to pay for an Aug. 2, 2002, charge of tampering with government records.
n Judge Trudo sentenced Yolanda Jean Whitehead, 27, of Groesbeck, to 10 days in the Bell County jail on two counts of a Jan. 17, 2000, charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
n Judge Trudo sentenced Donnie Earl Jones, 46, of Temple to 10 years in prison and a 735 days credit for an Oct. 11, 2002, charge of aggravated assault.
Contact Michelle Guffey at firstname.lastname@example.org