3 years out of 20 to serve for separate armed robberies

PRINCESS ANNE — A former UMES student who pleaded guilty in August to two separate armed robberies on campus was sentenced to serve a total of three years in the Somerset County Detention Center with a combined 17 years suspended.
When released Mohamed Fofanah, 22, of Bowie, will be on three years of supervised probation and be evaluated and treated for drug, alcohol and mental health issues at the direction of his agent.
Circuit Court Judge Daniel W. Powell also ordered Fofanah to pay $530 in fine and costs. He received credit for time served since March 27.
It was on Jan. 15 when a student reported to campus police that he was studying in Cluster Four, building 4300 when he went into town around 9:30 p.m., leaving the door unlocked. Upon his return he fell to the ground when he was struck in the face with a frying pan and robbed of credit cards and car keys.
Unwilling to turnover his cell phone the victim ran into another room, locked the door behind him and exited through a window to run to the police department.
Six days later around 4:15 p.m. a student director was making regular room inspections inside University Apartments when a man pulled two knives on him. The man later identified as Fofanah took the victim’s wallet, car keys and his 2011 Honda Accord.
During the investigation Fofanah was subsequently tied to the previous robbery as well.
While Fofanah had nothing to say at sentencing on Oct. 2, his aunt and cousin addressed the court describing him as quiet and friendly and how a lot of people like him. The judge, however, said Fofanah would have been better off attending college closer to home at Bowie State where family could monitor him more closely so he didn’t get hooked up with a bad crowd.
Public Defender Arch McFadden, who asked that his client not be sent to state prison, said Fofanah “could be a totally different man” when this is behind him.
In exchange for his guilty pleas credit card fraud charges against Fofanah related to purchases in June 2018 at the Princess Anne Pizza Hut were put on the stet docket provided he reimburse the restaurant $220.
The prosecutor was Assistant State’s Attorney Erica Witz.