Harford County Inmate Pleads Guilty To Attempted First Degree Murder Of Correctional Officer


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HARFORD COUNTY - On Thursday, A Harford County man pleaded guilty to Attempted First Degree Murder charges stemming from a violent incident involving Harford County Detention Center's Corporal Michael Vesek on November 20, 2022.

According to State's Attorney Alison Healey, Matthew Dwight Tingler, 37, from Elkton, entered into a plea deal stipulating a minimum sentencing of 30 years and a possible life sentence. The official sentence will be announced on August 10, 2023, following a Pre-Sentencing Investigation report and a Psychological Evaluation.

What happened?

During a supervised phone call in the detention center's counseling office on November 20, 2022, Tingler assaulted Corporal Vesek. Angered by the call, Tingler used the phone receiver and other items, including a tape dispenser and a portable radio to attack Vesek, according to police.

In a particularly violent act, Tingler used the telephone cord to strangle Vesek, who lost consciousness during the attack.

Other correctional deputies found Vesek semi-conscious, severely wounded, and with the cord still around his neck. They immediately offered assistance and arranged for his transfer to Johns Hopkins Bayview for medical treatment.

After the incident, police said Tingler admitted to becoming irate during the phone call, believing his fiancee to be unfaithful.

After the plea deal, State's Attorney Healey praised Corporal Vesek's courage and readiness to testify. She also thanked him for his 25-year service to Harford County as a Correctional Deputy and affirmed her commitment to fighting violent crime.

"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 10," Healey said

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