Judge Denies Frederick County Man’s Sentence Modification

John Paul Sexton was a juvenile when he murdered a 16-year-old boy.

Frederick, Md (KM) A motion to modify the sentence of a Frederick County man who was convicted of murder more than 30 years ago was denied Friday in Circuit Court. John Paul Sexton, 50,  was sentenced to life plus 40 years in 1989 for the murder of Marc Uher, 16, as part of a robbery. Sexton was 17-years of age at the time.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says Sexton had asked for a modification of his sentenced under the Juvenile  Restoration Act which allows all those who have served at least 20 years of their sentence  to seek changes to their sentence if they were under 18 at the time of the offense. “He was trying to get his sentence vacated or reduced because he had spent a number of years in prison,” says Smith. “Fortunately, today, we were able to have that motion denied. So we were very happy with that.”

Prosecutors says Sexton tried to use his friendship with Uher to find how the money from Urbana Exxon,  where Uher worked, was secured.  . He told Sexton that when the business closed up for the night, the employee delivered the money to owner’s house which was a short distance away.

On the day of the murder, October 27th, 1988, Sexton hung out with Uher at the Urbana Exxon, and asked for a ride at the end of the business day.  . Prosecutors say Sexton robbed the money at gunpoint while inside Uher’s car. . Sexton held the gun within two to three inches of the victim’s and fired. He told police that he bumped his hand as he was leaving the car, but the evidence proved that was not possible.

The State’s Attorney’s’ Office says Sexton took Uher’s car and dumped his body. Over the next three days, Sexton pretended to help look for Uher’s body. until he was arrested.

“It was just a senseless homicide that didn’t need to occur,” says Smith. “Fortunately, Judge {Julie Stevenson} Solt agreed with us and denied the motion.”

Both Sexton and Uher were from the Linganore area, and several of the victim’s family and friends were in the courtroom on Friday to urge the Judge not to grant Sexton’s request for a modification of his sentence. “The victim’s brother’s actually was video linked because he lives in Arizona. There was a certainly a lot of emotion, and time spent preparing on behalf of Laura Wilt, Chief of Juvenile here in Frederick County, and it paid off,” says Smith.

But  the Juvenile Restoration Act lets  Sexton  apply for another modification of his sentence in a few years. “Under the new law, not only does he get the motion now, but he gets it three years from now, and again for a third time three years after that,”: Smith says. “Whoever drafted this legislation was crazy to make the victim’s family and friends go through this three times much less after the first time. It’s just terrible legislation.”

By Kevin McManus