The Magothy River boater who police say left the scene of a fatal boat crash on 4th of July weekend, 2022, has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
An Anne Arundel County judge handed down the sentence to Brownell Henry “Hank” Edds, Jr. late last week. For the misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle/vessel, Edds received a sentence of three years with all but 18 months suspended. For the misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment, Edds was sentenced to five years with all of it suspended.
Edds was operating a white center-console boat that collided with a Wellcraft powerboat at the mouth of the Magothy River after dark on July 3, 2022, once the night’s 4th of July waterfront fireworks displays had wrapped up.
Husband and wife Brian and Laura Slattery were on the Wellcraft returning from watching fireworks, as Bay Bulletin reported. When Edds’s boat ran into the Wellcraft, the boat suffered damage and 63-year-old Laura was badly hurt, according to police. Edds left in his boat and was last seen entering Deep Creek.
Good Samaritans brought Laura Slattery and her husband to shore to get help, but she died before making it to the hospital. Along with her husband, Laura leaves behind three children and four grandchildren.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Police appealed to the public for information on the then-unidentified operator of the center-console. They recovered a white center-console two days later in connection with the case and hauled it from the Cape St. Claire boat ramp. Still Edds did not come forward.
Finally on August 12, more than a month later, police announced an arrest. Edds, 50, of Cape St. Claire, was held without bond on charges including one felony. He was ultimately convicted only of misdemeanor charges in the hit-and-run case.
When Edds’s 18-month sentence is served, he will serve five years’ probation.
-Meg Walburn Viviano