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20-year-old Frederick man sentenced to life in prison for murder, possession of explosives

Joshua Eckenrode was sentenced Friday for the murder of his ex-classmate in 2021. During a search, police discovered evidence he was planning a mass shooting.

FREDERICK, Md. — Editor's Note: The above video was published on March 24, 2021.

A 20-year-old Frederick man was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for shooting and killing his teen classmate in 2021.

Judge Julie Solt sentenced Joshua Eckenrode to a life sentence with all but 40 years suspended in the Division of Corrections on one count of first-degree murder and a consecutive suspended 51-year sentence on a multiple-count indictment of possession of a destructive device, possession of explosives without a license, and related weapons charges.  

Eckenrode is convicted of fatally shooting his 19-year-old former classmate, Curtis Mason Smith, back in March of 2021. Smith was found dead in a car in the 8100 block of Runnymeade Drive in Frederick County on Sunday, March 14, 2021, after being reported as missing several days earlier.

Through investigation, detectives discovered that Eckenrode had shot Smith after meeting up with him to sell a firearm. After this discovery, a search and seizure warrant was authorized for the search of Eckenrode’s home that subsequently revealed firearms, assembled explosive devices, and bomb-making material.


Authorities say Eckenrode entered binding guilty pleas in the March 2021 death of Curtis Mason Smith. The binding nature of the guilty plea agreement means that the sentence cannot be modified unless all parties agree. 

Upon release from incarceration, Eckenrode must serve five years of supervised probation including all standard conditions, education, evaluation, and testing for substance abuse, abstain from alcohol and controlled dangerous substances and abusive use and illegal possession of prescription drugs, random drug and alcohol testing, mental health evaluation and any treatment as directed, have no contact with the victim’s family and stay away from their residences and places of employment, and undergo GPS monitoring. 

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