Waldorf man sentenced to life in prison for murdering 7-Eleven employee

The Waldorf man who murdered a 7-11 employee during an armed robbery in October 2020 was sentenced Tuesday in a Charles County Circuit Court. 

Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West sentenced Gregory Deshawn Collins, 23, to life without parole plus 20 years in prison for the first-degree felony murder of Lynn Maher. Collins was also charged with armed robbery, among other related charges.

A jury found Collins guilty of the aforementioned charges on May 11.

Charles County State's Attorney Tony Covington called the court's decision "appropriate" in a statement. "Collins permanently erased a life from this earth. In my view, when you take someone's life as this defendant did, you should forfeit your right to live the rest of your life as a free man. So, the sentence was fair and reasonable."

Gregory Deshawn Collins, 23

In October 2020, officers responded to the 7-11 convenience store located in the 3300 block of Middletown Road in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered Lynn Maher, an employee of 7-11, deceased at the scene.

An investigation revealed that on the night of the incident, a male suspect entered the store and selected a 7-11 brand tea bottle. He then approached the sales counter, where Maher was working as a cashier. The suspect brandished a handgun and announced a robbery. 

READ MORE: Suspect apprehended in connection with murder of Waldorf 7-Eleven clerk

Maher removed all the money from the register and gave it to the suspect. 

According to court docs, she showed the empty register till to the suspect, who pointed a handgun at her and pulled the trigger. The bullet struck Maher in the head, killing her. After shooting Maher, the suspect put the money, a total of $249.69, in his pocket and fled the scene.

Surveillance of the incident showed that the suspect, later identified as Collins, was wearing a distinct pair of blue jeans and blue tennis shoes. 

A photograph was discovered of Collins wearing blue shoes on September 7, 2020, consistent with what was worn during the robbery and murder. A search and seizure warrant was executed at Collins’ residence. During the search, a pair of blue jeans were recovered that were consistent with the suspect from the robbery and murder. 

READ MORE: Authorities identify 7-Eleven clerk shot, killed in early morning robbery in Waldorf

Collins later confessed during the investigation to robbing the store and shooting Maher. DNA evidence also linked Collins to the robbery and murder.

At sentencing, the assistant state’s attorney for the case, stated, "We do not ask for life without parole often and certainly not lightly. The facts of this case absolutely warrant it. The defendant was on probation when he committed this senseless, horrific murder.".