The woman Adam Meredith was convicted in February of raping pleaded with Circuit Judge John Brown Monday to put her assailant behind bars for good.
“Please don’t let him back out,” the sobbing young woman said. “What happened that night is just indescribable. I don’t want to be in Fort Walton if I find out he’s released.”
Brown ultimately did just as she requested, sentencing Meredith to life in prison for the crimes of aggravated sexual assault and burglary.
The judge said he based his sentence on trial testimony that convinced a jury Meredith had, on the night of Dec. 1-2, 2012, broken into the victim’s Fort Walton Beach, Fla., home and threatened her with a knife.
Warning the woman that if she spoke up, he would hurt her then-3-year-old child, Meredith assaulted her and sexually violated her three times.
“He was threatening her son’s life to get (the victim) to comply,” Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason reminded the judge Monday.
Meredith’s attorney, Don Witmyer, argued Meredith’s accomplishments as an Air Force tech sergeant, working in the dangerous field of explosive ordinance disposal, should be given weight in passing sentence.
He called for the 25-year minimum mandatory sentence to be imposed.
“By and large, you look at the things he’s done for you, for me, for (the victim), the state and the country,” he said. “That should be given consideration.”
Meredith’s parents took the stand seeking leniency on their son’s behalf. They spoke of Meredith’s upbringing and his love of family, which includes a wife and young child.
Both sought to call into question some of the facts in the case.
“The picture was of someone who is unfeeling and uncaring who would victimize someone,” his mother, Diane Meredith, said. “I don’t believe that. Nothing within me can fathom that.”
Mason though, said signs point to Meredith as a dangerous man capable of only becoming more dangerous.
“He used the training the military gave him and he became a very dangerous individual,” she said. “He is a dangerous individual who by all accounts is getting worse.”