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Man sentenced to 30 years in Md. kidnapping case

Friday - 3/8/2013, 8:32pm  ET

White weeps, victim offers forgiveness

Thomas Warren, WTOP

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Thomas Warren, wtop.com

ROCKVILLE, Md. - A man convicted of kidnapping a woman and her 20-month-old son and driving them from Baltimore to Bethesda has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Twenty-four-year-old Terron White pleaded guilty last August to two counts of kidnapping. Authorities say White carjacked Elyssa Samuels with her son inside the vehicle in July 2011 and drove them from Baltimore to the Capital Beltway. Samuels jumped out of the moving car with her son in her arms. Neither was seriously injured.

In Montgomery County Circuit Court Friday, White was given an additional 25 years for a second charge of kidnapping Samuels' son Julius Jordon. But Judge Marielsa Bernard suspended that portion of the sentence.

White will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years. Judge Bernard gave him credit for time served.

White addressed the court before he was sentenced. He said he took full responsibility for the crime, and, looking at Samuels, added, "I apologize to Ms. Samuels for harming her and her son."

Dressed in a green jumpsuit, a white, thermal long-sleeved shirt underneath, White also apologized to his more than 15 family members and friends who were in court for support.

His parents also spoke saying their son was a good guy.

"Take it into your heart and grant him leniency," his father John White pleaded of the judge. "He wasn't in the right state of mind when he did that."

Samuels was allowed to speak before White learned his fate. She retold the terror she felt the night of the carjacking, saying she thought they were going to die.

"I was just trying to keep calm because of my son," Samuels said.

More than once while answering questions from Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Nee, Samuels waved her hand in White's direction trying to get his attention. After the court session, she explained what she wanted to do.

"I just wanted to actually tell him I'm sorry, and that I forgive him," she said, adding that she was sorry that White would spend much of his adult life in prison.

White's attorney plans to appeal the sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @tewarren and @WTOP on Twitter.

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