A former Maryland Transportation Authority police officer accused of holding his wife’s head under water in a kiddie pool at their North East-area home ― as their young children watched helplessly ― received a seven-year prison term Friday after accepting a plea deal.
The defendant, Keith David Anderson, 37, also pointed his service revolver at his wife at one point during the protracted attack, prosecutors reported.
“The defendant threatened to kill her and their two minor children,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin B. Urick told the judge.
At the time of the incident, Anderson was an MdTA police officer assigned to the Hatem Memorial Bridge near Perryville, prosecutors confirmed.
Anderson’s superiors suspended him without pay after police arrested and charged him in July, prosecutor said. Anderson, who had been an MdTA police officer for at least 10 years, has since been terminated from that agency, prosecutors added.
As part of a binding plea deal, Anderson pleaded guilty to first-degree assault during Friday’s courtroom proceeding.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped eight related charges against Anderson, including false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Jane Cairns Murray imposed a 15-year sentence on Anderson and then suspended eight years of it.
Anderson will serve his seven-year term in a Maryland
Department of Corrections prison.
Upon his prison release, according to the sentence in the binding plea agreement, Anderson must serve five years of supervised probation.
Murray ordered Anderson to undergo mental health and alcohol and substance abuse counseling and treatment, as probation conditions.
The judge also ordered, “He is to have no contact with his spouse and minor children.”
Estranged from his wife at the time of the incident, Anderson came into their house on July 4 and woke her up, prosecutors reported.
At that point, according to prosecutors, Anderson slapped, choked and bit the woman, who was able to break free and run downstairs, where the attack wound up on the back deck.
The ruckus awoke their young children, prosecutors said. They later saw Anderson push their mother’s head into the youngsters’ swimming pool and hold it under water, prosecutors added.
The woman was, once again, able to break free, according to Urick, who noted that she then dialed 911. Anderson, however, abruptly hung up her phone, Urick noted.
“It was a 911 hang-up,” Urick said, explaining that dispatchers were able to pinpoint the address of the aborted emergency phone call and Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived moments later.
“The (front) door flung open and she (the wife) was crying hysterically. She had numerous scratches and bruises,” Urick said, noting that the woman had other injuries.
Then, identify himself as a police officer and stressing that he was unarmed, Anderson walked down the stairs with his hands up and surrendered to police, according to prosecutors.
Anderson had remained in the Cecil County Detention Center in lieu of $500,000 bond since his arrest. He will now be transferred to a state prison.