State’s Attorney Richard Fritz announces that Joseph Marvin Swann was sentenced to 19 years by the Circuit Court of St. Mary’s County, for manslaughter by motor vehicle.
The State asked the court to sentence Swann to 55 years, the maximum sentence allowed by law. Judicial guidelines suggested a sentence of 22 years. In opposition to the guidelines, Assistant State’s Attorney Casper cited Swann’s criminal record and the fact that in the course of his arrest several law enforcement officers were assaulted. Despite this fact, the court sentenced Swann below the guidelines of 22 years.
State’s Attorney Fritz would like to thank Ms. Casper for an excellent job in prosecuting this case and would like to indicate that the protection of our citizens and the police is foremost and that the sentence handed down by the court in this case, despite our request for the maximum sentence is disheartening.
State’s Attorney Richard D. Fritz announces the conviction of Joseph Marvin Swann for killing Ian Tahtinen in a fiery crash on December 20, 2020. He was convicted of thirteen charges, including vehicular homicide while intoxicated by alcohol, vehicular manslaughter, resisting arrest, and second-degree assault on four St. Mary’s County deputies.
The collision occurred when Swann drove his car north on Rte. 5 in Charlotte Hall at 116 mph. He struck Tahtinen’s car in the rear causing it to explode and continue burning until first responders eventually were able to extinguish it. During fire-fighting and investigative efforts, Swann left the scene. After refusing to return to the scene, Swann fought the four deputies, striking, kicking, and spitting on them.
Maryland State Police testing revealed that his blood level was .19, over twice the legal limit of .08. Swann has two prior convictions for fleeing and eluding, one for driving under the influence of alcohol, and eight prior assault convictions.
Mr. Fritz thanks Laura A. Caspar and Joseph Boyd for their hard work in prosecuting this case.