Joshua Schellhase sent to prison for only six years for murdering his friend with heroin
GREENBELT, MD. – St. Mary’s County is going to lose the services of a serial drug dealer and user, burglar and professional in the copper reclamation theft business – as well as a heroin killer. For the crime of administering a fatal dose of heroin in 2012, a federal Judge has handed down a somewhat lenient sentence of only six years for Joshua Scott Schellhase of Valley Lee, Md.
With a record of easy and lenient treatment in St. Mary’s County by prosecutor Richard Fritz, the answer as to why this was a federal case is best explained by examining the record of Joshua Schellhase.
Capt. Daniel Alioto, the commander of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Vice and Narco Squad said that the reason the case was filed under the U. S. Attorney was that the sentencing was tougher and there is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced Joshua Scott Schellhase, 31, of 43660 Pumphouse Lane, in Valley Lee, Maryland on Aug. 25, 2015 to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for distribution of heroin.
Another five years on probation awaits Schellhase after he is released from federal prison; this probation is a result of stealing copper from a house in Waldorf while he was awaiting trial and sentencing in the federal case.
When Schellhase is eventually released from federal prison, which does not feature parole, the suspended sentence of 20 years from another case in 2015 will greet him should he return to drug dealing and burglary.
The case for which Schellhase was sentenced to federal prison stems from his administering a fatal dose of heroin to a friend in Callaway, Md., in 2012.
A close friend of Schellhase died as a result of using the heroin distributed by Schellhase. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his plea agreement, during 2012 Schellhase was close friends with an individual with whom Schellhase used heroin or other opiates on a daily basis. Schellhase and the person he killed would provide heroin to each other as often as they were able to obtain it.
On October 10, 2012, Schellhase posted a photo on his Facebook account dressed in attire he apparently was buying for the Halloween festivities. The next day he killed his friend with a heroin cocktail.
Over the next two months, in spite of prior and more activity on his Facebook page, Schellhase never mentioned experiencing the loss of his friend, took responsibility or expressed remorse.
Most of the postings of Schellhase are self-posed photos of his tattoos, which ought be popular in the federal prison.
Schellhase admitted that on October 11, 2012, the friend texted him asking for more dope. Schellhase agreed to give the individual some heroin that Schellhase had recently purchased.
During the early evening, Schellhase drove to a residence in Calloway, Maryland. The heroin junkie pal of Schellhase came out of the house and Schellhase gave the individual a small amount of heroin and two cigarettes.
The individual went back into the house, went into the bathroom and ingested the heroin he had received from Schellhase.
About 15 minutes later, the person’s girlfriend knocked on the bathroom door but received no response. She opened the door and discovered the individual slumped over and non-responsive. Emergency medical personnel were called and attempted to revive the individual, but the individual died.
The cause of death was determined to be morphine intoxication. The victim died as a result of ingesting the heroin provided by Schellhase.
In the news release provided by the U. S. Attorney to the media, the name of the person that Schellhase killed with his heroin fix was never named.
What did Schellhase do to keep busy while he was awaiting trial on this charge? He was out on bail and burglarizing homes. Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports that on Jan. 26, 2015 at 3:26 a.m., officers were patrolling in Waldorf when they were informed of a suspicious vehicle at a vacant home in the 3200 block of Green Meadows Drive.
When officers arrived, they located the car and observed copper piping and other items inside. The empty house also had damage to the basement and water system. Paul Daniel Panholzer, 31, of Callaway and Joshua Scott Schellhase, 30, of Leonardtown were arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property, second- and fourth-degree burglary and theft. Officer B. Moore and Sgt. C. Strafella investigated.
A Charles County Circuit Court Grand Jury indicted Schellhase with seven counts of burglary and theft for the crime of extracting the copper from the home in Waldorf. Many such crimes of metal theft have been sweeping the area in recent years.
On May 28, 2015 in Charles County Circuit Court Schellhase dropped all pretense of being innocent and entered a guilty plea to one count of burglary in a plea deal which resulted in him being sentenced to 20 years in prison with all of the jail time suspended with all probation terms set aside during the time of his federal incarceration.
The other six counts of burglary and theft were dropped by Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington. The defense attorney who managed to pull off this deal for Schellhase was Christopher J. Stuart, of the Maryland Public Defender’s Office in LaPlata, meaning that Schellhase was able to pass off his legal bills to the taxpayers of Maryland.
Calvert Sheriff Mike Evans reported that on 9:04 p.m. April 25, 2013, Calvert Deputy L. Wood responded to Gringo Road and Side Saddle Trail for a suspicious vehicle. The driver, Joshua S. Schellhase, 29, of Leonardtown was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Schellhase was in possession of a butterfly knife, and possession of drug paraphernalia; a metal spoon with suspected heroin residue.
One passenger, Brandy Ann Chiarizia, 35 of Mechanicsville, was cited for possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia; a spoon and a hypodermic needle. In Calvert County District Court on Sept. 20, 2013, the Calvert County States Attorney dropped the charge for the concealed deadly weapon and allowed a guilty plea to possession of the heroin ingesting tools resulted in probation before judgement with a fine of $442.50 with ALL of the fine suspended in this incredible display of a tough prosecutor who is tough on drug dealers.
No jail time was included in this deal and even though he was put on probation until Sept. 20, 2016, apparently that didn’t stop Schellhase from engaging in the metal theft business.
Once again, the taxpayers paid Schellhase’s legal bills.
Brandy Ann Chiarizia, of 45186 Take It Easy Ranch Road in Callaway, Md., who was Schellhase’s Calvert County passenger in the drug arrest in that county in 2013 was charged by St. Mary’s Deputy Keith Moritz for possession of heroin and paraphernalia for an incident which took place on May 8, 2015. All eight counts of the drug charges were dropped in St. Mary’s County District Court on July 23, 2015 by St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz.
A typical reason given by prosecutors for dropping multiple charges against a person charged with drug possession is that the suspect provided information on friends and fellow drug dealers. Ironically, while the ink was being set on dismissing the charges against Chiarizia, Paul Panholzer, her cohort in another crime, was busted for eight counts of heroin and drug paraphernalia. The two share the same address in the Take It Easy Ranch in Callaway.
A published report in 2014 pulled Schellhase’s two fellow arrestees in crimes committed in Calvert County and Charles County together with one in St. Mary’s County – that of stealing property likely with the goal of having money to buy drugs.
Chiarizia and Paul Daniel Panholzer were trying to steal Kathryn E.S. Rivers’ generator on Sept. 16, 2014, from a home off Take It Easy Ranch Road, charging papers allege, when neighbors confronted them as the generator was being placed in the back of a vehicle.
“The vehicle attempted to leave the area and struck victim Sabrina Leigh Ryce … in the leg, and knocked her to the ground,” according to a charges application filed by St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy John Davis. A helicopter crew flew Ryce to the Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment of her injuries.
A witness told police that the vehicle had a female driver and a male passenger, court papers state, and assault and theft charges against Chiarizia, a resident of the same street, were issued last month after Ryce viewed a police lineup of photographs. Panholzer, 30, listed in court records as having the same address as Chiarizia, has been charged through a summons with a theft offense through the sheriff’s office investigation.”
According to Maryland court records, Panholzer is awaiting trial on Sept. 23, 2015 for the theft of auto parts during a burglary on Old Rolling Road in California, Md., which took place on Feb. 19, 2015.
Court records show that Panholzer’s copper caper at the home in Waldorf on Jan. 26, 2015 resulted in a 20 year sentence for him with 19 years suspended. Court records show that his sentence from the Charles County Circuit Court allowed him to serve his sentence closer to home in the St. Mary’s County Jail. When he is granted work release by the idiotic liberal Judges of Maryland, he will be able to leave jail in the daytime and commit more crimes and still return to jail at night.
Perhaps to be able to support his heroin preferences and to distribute heroin treats to his friends, Schellhase was busted by Deputy William Waters on Feb. 1, 2013 for theft between $10,000 and $100,000 and a theft scheme. In a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz, on Jan. 23, 2014 both charges were put on the Stet Docket with no penalty and no time.
Schellhase was arrested for DUI and driving with a suspended driver’s license on Feb. 19, 2010, by Maryland State Trooper Michael Laney. In District Court of St. Mary’s on Oct. 10, 2010 he was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 58 days suspended on the permit charge while the DUI charge was dropped by St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz.
The welfare attorneys once again represented Schellhase. Schellhase was able to negotiate a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz on Aug. 14, 2008, for a charge of malicious property destruction from an incident on Jan. 3, 2008. Schellhase was arrested by Maryland State Trooper Eric Evans. Restitution in the amount of $4,270.97 was ordered along with 60 days in jail, but ALL of the prison time was suspended.