SALISBURY, Md. - Gavin Stephens once looked forward to a bright future.
But now this former Naval Academy candidate faces almost a decade behind bars for his involvement in a May 18th armed robbery at 305 Elizabeth Avenue.
In court, the prosecution revealed that Gavin, along with his brother Ross Stephens, Ross' girlfriend Katlyn Jones and her roommate Nick Stuetz all reportedly had roles in an elaborate scheme to recover $10,000 of marijuana that Ross alleges was stolen by his middle man, LaBryant Dorman.
Ross, who pleaded guilty earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing, told his girlfriend to invite Dorman over to her house so he could try to recover his money. But the victim arrived with another friend, Ryan Bird, who state officials say had no previous involvement with the drug operation.
After apparently luring Dorman and his friend into Jones' and Stuetz' apartment, Gavin and his brother allegedly restrained them. Prosecutors say Gavin had a baseball bat.
His brother wielded and racked a Remington 870 tactical shotgun, using it as a "scare tactic" against the two victims, according to state's attorney Matt Maciarello.
Maciarello describes the events as the Stephens brothers were "holding them, duct taping them, holding them for an hour.
"[Dorman and Bird] were terrorized. [Racking the shotgun] caused shear terror. In fact, the witnesses that would have testified said that every time they racked that gun to 'get them in control,' that caused them extreme fear."
The victims later escaped and Dorman sustained injuries that officials say were caused by Ross and not Gavin. Now the four players, both Stephens, Jones and Stuetz all face jail time.
Besides prison time, Gavin may have to be evaluated in a youth offenders program to help with what the court calls "mental health issues."
Even with the conviction, friends and family stood up for the Eagle Scout's character.
A current co-workers said, "If I could have 10 more Gavin's on my team, I would."
And another family friend said that he would be "proud if [Gavin] was my son."
"There was a lot of talk about character in that courtroom," said Maciarello. "Character is what someone does when people aren't looking. It's what somebody does when all those citizens that stood up for him when they're not looking.
"When they weren't looking, he committed an egregious and violent act."
WMDT reached out to friends and family on camera, but all of them declined, including Gavin Stephens' mom.
In court, the defense attorney Charles Anderson read parts of several Eagle Scout recommendation letters. One was written by James Cook, an assistant principal of Bennett High School. The other by Gary Mackes, the director of Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism.
Both men apparently allowed the defense attorney to use the letters in support of the suspect's character. When we reached out to them today for comment, both men declined.
As for the other three, Stuetz and Jones were both convicted of conspiracy to robbery. Stuetz will be sentenced on October 29th and Jones on November 1st.
Ross Stephens will learn his fate on November 22nd.