On September 12, 2023, Matthew Dwight Tingler, 39, of Joppa, Maryland was sentenced to Life in prison. This sentence, imposed by the Honorable Diane Adkins-Tobin, followed a guilty plea on June 22, 2023 to Attempted First Degree Murder. A previous press release indicated that this charge was a result of a vicious attack occurring in November 2022 on Corporal Michael Vesek, a Correctional Deputy at the Harford County Detention Center while Tingler was an inmate there.
Victim impact statements were provided to the court by both Corporal Vesek and Colonel William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Both statements outlined the “profound and lasting” impact this egregious act has had on Corporal Vesek, his family, the law enforcement community, and the community as a whole. Sentencing Guidelines from the Maryland Automated Guidelines Systems (MAGS) for Tingler calculated a range of 25 to 40 years of incarceration. However, State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey argued that this was an appropriate case for an upward deviation from those guidelines, requesting life in prison, citing Tingler’s violent criminal history and the heinous nature of the conduct in this case. Ms. Healey also noted the numerous opportunities for rehabilitation and treatment that have been afforded to Tingler throughout the course of his involvement in the criminal justice system, all of which have been unsuccessful.
During the sentencing, Judge Adkins-Tobin said that a “clear message must be sent to the inmate population that the court will not tolerate” these kinds of “incredibly vicious” acts. She also noted that “there are people who are just plain evil, and that is Mr. Tingler.” She further ordered that Tingler be immediately transferred to the Division of Correction and not held locally while pending additional matters. She thanked Corporal Vesek for his service to Harford County and recognized the vital and sometimes unrecognized role correctional officers play in maintaining the safety of our community.
Following the sentencing hearing, State’s Attorney Healey stated the following: “I commend Corporal Vesek for his bravery today in addressing the court and reliving the attack that he had to endure at the hands of Matthew Tingler. It is my hope that today’s life sentence will bring Corporal Vesek and his family some closure and am relieved that justice was served. Today we sent a strong message that violence in our community and against our law enforcement will not be tolerated. Today was a strong step forward towards a safer Harford County.”