State's Attorney Secures Life Sentence For Inmate In Brutal Assault On Harford County Deputy
HARFORD COUNTY - Matthew Dwight Tingler, a 39-year-old from Joppa, Maryland, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal assault of Corporal Michael Vesek, a Correctional Deputy at the Harford County Detention Center, in November 2022 while Tingler was an inmate.
During a supervised phone call in the detention center's counseling office on November 20, 2022, Tingler assaulted Corporal Vesek. Angered by the call, police said Tingler used the phone receiver and other items, including a tape dispenser and a portable radio, to attack the corporal.
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.
Victim impact statements were submitted to the court by Corporal Vesek and Colonel William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Both statements emphasized the "profound and lasting" repercussions of the attack on Vesek, his family, and the community at large, including fellow law enforcement officers.
State's Attorney Alison M. Healey argued for a life sentence, citing Tingler's violent criminal history and the severe nature of the attack as justification for the harsher punishment. She also pointed out that multiple attempts to rehabilitate Tingler through the criminal justice system had failed.
During the sentencing, Judge Adkins-Tobin stated that a "clear message must be sent to the inmate population" against committing such "incredibly vicious" acts. She labeled Tingler as "just plain evil" and ordered his immediate transfer to the Division of Correction, specifying that he should not be held locally for any pending matters.
"I commend Corporal Vesek for his bravery today in addressing the court and reliving the attack he had to endure. Today's life sentence is a strong step forward towards a safer Harford County and sends a strong message that violence against our law enforcement and community will not be tolerated. I hope this brings some closure to Corporal Vesek and his family," said State's Attorney Healey
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