Henry Levi Sanders could spend the next 60 years incarcerated — if he lives that long — pondering his crimes against the three men he carjacked in Montgomery County in November 2011.
“You’re beyond rehabilitation,” Montgomery County Circuit Judge Robert Greenberg told Sanders on Friday while imposing the sentence.
Sanders, 51, of Landover was convicted in March of carjacking and kidnapping Gustav Goldberger, a 77-year-old Silver Spring man. Sanders pleaded guilty to two other carjacking cases in Montgomery County after his guilty conviction.
He targeted people who looked elderly and unable to fight back, Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Marybeth Ayres said in court.
Sanders will be sentenced for additional robbery and assault charges for three incidents which took place in Prince George’s County, court records show. He could receive an additional 55 years in prison for those offenses.
Ayres argued in court that Sanders displayed a “disturbing” calculation while committing his crimes, targeting victims “preyed on in their weakest moments,” and refining his process. He began using a knife to intimidate his victims, and changed his process to fix mistakes he had made in the past, she said.
She said seeing pictures of the violence he inflicted on Goldberger had left her “dumbfounded.”
Sanders followed him out of a mall in Wheaton, and attacked him as he got into his car. He fractured Goldberger’s nose, broke his orbital bone, and slashed him in the leg with a box cutter, before using the man’s debit card to make withdrawals from several ATMs.
Jurors learned that he abandoned Goldberger in the blood-spattered car at a gas station in Hyattsville.
Police later found the clothes he had used, along with the box cutter and other evidence, at his home.
For Sanders’ victims, the assaults brought back other moments of violence long-past.
“I never believed I would be made to relive the fear I experienced in my youth,” Goldberger said in court. “My family and I were threatened with imminent danger of violent death at the hands of the Gestapo.”
Sanders’ attack brought that flooding back, he said.
“I doubt I will ever be the person I was,” he said.
Joseph Atkins, representing Sanders, said his client could not undo what he had done.
“The only question is whether Mr. Sanders is worthy of a chance of redemption in this world, instead of the next,” he said.
Sanders’ family members packed one side of the courtroom.
In court, they revealed a portrait of a man raised in a devout Christian family, sucked into a life of crime via an addiction to crack cocaine.
“We are very sorry. He was not raised this way. He knows better,” Marvin Sanders said of his brother.
“It was a Jekyll and Hyde situation,” another of his supporters said, calling his behavior a “binge,” and blaming it on his drug addictions.
Sanders, meanwhile, admitted full responsibility for his crimes.
“I have prayed, and fallen on my face, and cried out for forgiveness,” he said, addressing his victims.
“Can you forgive me?” he asked.
Greenberg said Sanders’ victims’ resilience after his attacks was a “testament to the human spirit.” The three carjacking victims, despite their age and vulnerability, all survived their attacks.
“What you did to these people did not break their spirit,” he said.