Maryland Man Found Guilty in Murder-for-Hire

Defendant Put Out Contract in Drug-Related Matter

Maryland Man Found Guilty in Murder-for-HireA 36-year-old Maryland man has been convicted in federal court of a number of crimes, including murder-for-hire, related to the deaths of three people in rural Pennsylvania in 2016. Kevin Coles, a native of Hagerstown, is alleged to have put out a contract on his girlfriend, Wendy Chaney, after he learned that she was cooperating with federal authorities in a criminal investigation into a drug distribution operation he ran. Authorities say that Coles worked through intermediaries to recruit and hire members of the Baltimore gang known as the “Guerilla Family,” who traveled to a barn in rural Pennsylvania, where they found Chaney, zip-tied her hands behind her back and shot her in the head. Two others, who happened to be at the farm when the killers found Chaney, were also killed.

AV-Rated Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has more than 30 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of DWI/DUI defendants across the Baltimore metro area and the state of Maryland. He has been awarded an AV-rating (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System by fellow members of the Maryland bar for more than 34 years. He has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by SuperLawyers as well as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine. He has also earned Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory.

Over the past 30+ years, attorney Smith has successfully handled the defense of a wide range of criminal charges, including cases involving prosecution for violent crimes. He will aggressively protect your constitutional rights and fully investigate your case to determine whether police and prosecutors follow proper procedures when gathering evidence. He’ll carefully interview all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments in your defense at trial.

Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He holds a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Effective Maryland Criminal Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Reckless Endangerment in Maryland

What Constitutes Reckless Endangerment? What Are the Penalties?

Reckless Endangerment in MarylandUnder Maryland law, a person may not engage in actions that create “a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another.” Such acts constitute “reckless endangerment.” The statute specifically prohibits discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle in a way that poses a substantial risk of death or serious injury, but the crime of reckless endangerment is not limited to that act. Other acts found to constitute reckless endangerment include:

  • dropping rocks on passing cars from a bridge;
  • throwing harmful objects into a crowd of people; and
  • using a motor vehicle recklessly.

It’s important to understand that this offense does not require proof of intent but only recklessness. The law generally defines recklessness as a disregard for the risks posed by an act, where the person knew or should have known of the potential consequences but ignored them. Similarly, a person cannot be charged with reckless endangerment for an act that is merely negligent.

The Penalties for Reckless Endangerment

Reckless endangerment is a unique type of offense in Maryland, one referred to as a “penitentiary misdemeanor.” Though it’s technically a misdemeanor, and should carry a term of incarceration of no more than a year, it can bring a five-year prison term.

Experienced Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Maryland for more than 30 years, including individuals facing reckless endangerment. AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, he has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. Jonathan has received AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial lawyer.

Attorney Smith knows how a criminal charge and conviction can affect your life, andhe will zealously protect your constitutional rights. He’ll question witnesses, review police reports, and carefully gather all evidence to support your acquittal.

Proven Criminal Defense Attorney in Montgomery County

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options when facing charges of reckless endangerment, contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles criminal matters throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101