A White Plains man who pleaded guilty in September to two carjackings that took place in Montgomery County, as well as armed robbery, was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in prison.
Police arrested Byron Govan, 28, of White Plains, in November 2012, pegging him to a series of crimes that took place in Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties in the fall of 2012.
Govan pleaded guilty to an armed robbery in Anne Arundel County in November and is awaiting trial on armed robbery charges for a crime that took place in Alexandria, Va., in October 2012.
Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff hailed the sentence, saying Govan was a person who “exemplifies criminality of the lowest order.”
But in a letter to Montgomery County Circuit Judge Richard E. Jordan, Govan’s mother pleaded for leniency for her son, who she described as “loving, kind hearted, giving, outgoing, hard working, honest, and [a] very people-friendly person.”
Govan enlisted in the U.S. Navy and ran a ship’s store before being honorably discharged, Lavern B. Timmons, his mother, wrote.
“Byron has made some horrible choices in life,” she wrote, adding that Govan, a father of two young children, was “very remorseful” and had been working diligently to rehabilitate himself since his arrest.
For at least one victim, Govan’s sentencing was a relief.
“I think he got what he deserved. He was very dangerous during the times he was doing all these things. He needed to be locked up,” said Molly Hauck, a Kensington psychologist whose Toyota Prius Govan stole in late September 2012.
The crime occurred as she had been depositing some money at a Wells Fargo ATM in Rockville, she told The Gazette after his guilty plea.
On Oct. 31, 2012, police discovered the charred shell of her Prius; Govan had abandoned it in Rockville and burned it.
That same day, he used a handgun to steal a Lincoln Aviator from two people who were sitting in it in a parking lot on Rockville Pike. Police spotted the car on I-495 and chased Govan, but he escaped and deserted the car behind a library in Silver Spring, court records show.
His lawyer, Adam Harris, said at his guilty plea that the gun was a BB gun.
Govan, who was on probation for assault charges from an incident in Anne Arundel County, used credit cards taken in the second carjacking to buy himself hundreds of dollars of goods and services, according to court records. That included prepaid credit cards and two pairs of Nike sneakers worth almost $400.
In an interview after Govan’s sentencing, Hauck described how her life had been affected by his actions.
“He made me feel afraid he would come back and hurt me and do something again,” she said.
She has since changed the locks on her house and at her work, and installed burglar alarms. Her car now has a GPS device police can track if it is ever stolen.