UPDATE August 15, 2021: Avery Leslie Stokes, Indian Head, MD was found guilty of Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter on August 6, 2021, for a crash that occurred in May 2019 that left a Mechanicsville man dead.

Prosecutors charged Stokes with First Degree Murder, but the jury convicted on Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter. Stokes and his girlfriend(at the time) had just picked up hitchhiker, Thomas Edward Douglas, age 63 of Mechanicsville before they intentionally drove into a tree.

According to court documents, Stokes and his girlfriend( at the time) both believed that neither of them would be hurt or killed if they drove into the tree. Douglas was pronounced deceased at the scene, with Stokes and Alexandra Catherine Howard, age 18 of Mechanicsville flown to an area trauma center.

A pre-trial sentencing order has been made and Stokes is scheduled to be sentenced on September 10, 2021, at 11 a.m. He faces up to10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.


Avery Leslie Stokes, age 19 of Indian Head

UPDATE October 28, 2019: Continuing investigation in the fatal motor vehicle collision by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and the Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit, it was determined this motor vehicle collision was a result of an intentional act.

On October 9, 2019, Avery Leslie Stokes, age 19 of Indian Head, was charged with First Degree Murder. Stokes remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no-bond status.


Mechanicsville, MD- On May 18, 2019, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 40900 block of New Market Turner Road in the area of Rustin Family Way, for the reported motor vehicle collision.

Upon arrival, a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, with three occupants, was located off the roadway into a tree.

The operator of the vehicle, Avery Leslie Stokes, age 18 of Indian Head, and the front seat passenger Alexandra Catherine Howard, age 18 of Mechanicsville, were flown to area trauma centers for incapacitating injuries. The rear seat passenger, Thomas Edward Douglas, age 63 of Mechanicsville, was pronounced deceased on the scene.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation.

A preliminary investigation determined the vehicle was traveling eastbound on New Market Turner Road when for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed the centerline, overcorrected, and left the roadway striking a tree.

At this time driver error and lack of seatbelt usage appear to be contributing factors in the fatal collision.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or any events leading to the collision is asked to contact Corporal Brandon Foor at (301) 475-4200 extension *2265 or by email at Brandon.Foor@stmarysmd.com.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...