On June 22, 2023, Matthew Dwight Tingler, 37, of Elkton, Maryland pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted First Degree Murder in the Circuit Court for Harford County for his brutal attack of Corporal Michael Vesek in the Harford County Detention Center on November 20, 2022.
Evidence presented to the Honorable Judge Diane Adkins-Tobin revealed to following facts: On November 20, 2022, Corporal Michael Vesek, a Correctional Deputy at the Harford County Detention Center, was supervising Tingler while he placed a phone call in the counseling office at the facility. During the call, Tingler became enraged and used the telephone receiver to strike Corporal Vesek in the face. Tingler fought Corporal Vesek to the floor, and once on the ground, Tingler manually strangled Corporal Vesek and wrapped the phone cord around Corporal Vesek’s neck multiple times, using that cord to further strangle him. Tingler then continuously struck him in the face with the phone receiver, a tape dispenser, and a portable radio that Tingler removed from the desk during the attack. Corporal Vesek lost consciousness as a result of Tingler’s vicious conduct. Other Correctional Deputies heard Corporal Vesek yelling for help and responded, finding Tingler continuing to attack Corporal Vesek, who was motionless, semi-conscious, and bleeding profusely. Deputies immediately rendered assistance to the victim, unwrapping the cord that remained tightly wound around his neck. Corporal Vesek was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview for treatment. In an interview following the incident, Tingler stated that he became upset while on the phone because he believed his fiancé was with another man.
State’s Attorney Alison Healey and Assistant State’s Attorney Megan Lintott negotiated this guilty plea, which includes the agreement that the State will recommend the maximum sentence of life in prison, and the Defense may not argue for anything less than thirty years of incarceration. Pursuant to this plea agreement, the Court may not impose a sentence of less than thirty years of incarceration and may impose up to the maximum sentence of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for August 10, 2023 following the completion of a Pre-Sentencing Investigation report and a Psychological Evaluation.
Following the plea, State’s Attorney Healey stated, “I commend Corporal Vesek for his bravery in both enduring this brutal attack and for his willingness to testify in this trial, which he was fully prepared to do in the coming days, as we were scheduled to select the jury for trial today. I also thank him for his nearly 25 years of service to Harford County as a Correctional Deputy. Justice was served today as this conviction guarantees that this incredibly violent criminal will not walk free in the streets of our community for a long time to come. My office will not tolerate violent crime of any kind, but the attempt to take the life of one of our Correctional Deputies, is particularly egregious and deserves the maximum penalties allowed by law. We will argue for not a day less than a life sentence on August 10th.”
Ms. Healey thanks Assistant State’s Attorney Megan Lintott for her assistance in preparing this case for trial. She also thanks the many Correctional Deputies who responded to this crime scene for their rapid response to render lifesaving aid to Corporal Vesek and preserve the evidence in this case. Finally, she commends the Harford County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies who responded and Detectives Pilachowski and Wilsynski of the Criminal Investigations Division for securing the evidence required to ensure a conviction.