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Susect pleads guilty in stabbing

November 13, 1996

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

In a surprise move, the man charged in the January stabbing of a popular Jonathan Street grocery store owner entered guilty pleas Tuesday to charges of assault with intent to murder and armed robbery.

Sentencing for Ronnie Clifton Green, 41, has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday. Green faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

He was charged with stabbing Lenzlea Fairfax Mosby Jr. at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, while Mosby was working in his grocery story at 249 N. Jonathan St.

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Green was in court Tuesday for a suppression hearing, but instead of going ahead with the hearing, told his attorney he wanted to enter guilty pleas.

"I've also changed my mind about pleading not criminally responsible,'' Green said, indicating he no longer wished to pursue that course.

Green told Washington County Circuit Judge Fred Wright that he has been having problems at the Washington County Detention Center and wants to be sent to another institution as quickly as possible.

"Mosby saw Green around 11 a.m. and he declined to cash a check for him,'' Deputy State's Attorney Charles Strong said in court.

Green left, but returned around 1:30 p.m. and again asked Mosby for money, and Mosby again turned him down, Strong said.

"Then a few minutes later, Green told Mosby that the pool table wasn't working - the balls wouldn't come down,'' Strong said.

"Mosby bent over to check the machine and he was hit from behind,'' Strong said. "The blow sent him to his knees.''

It was then that Green began to stab Mosby, according to Strong.

Mosby looked at Green and asked, "Why are you trying to kill me?'' Strong said.

Green continued to stab Mosby, and then rolled him over and took $420 from his pockets, Strong said.

Witnesses told police they saw Green leaving the store after the stabbing and described his blood-soaked clothing. Also described was his apprehension while hiding in a friend's closet at the Dagmar Hotel less than an hour after the stabbing, police said.

In a taped statement to police, Green said he had gone to the store to talk to Mosby, who sometimes paid him to do odd jobs in the store.

Green told police he bought a knife for protection, and that the stabbing occurred during an argument, according to police reports.

Among the evidence collected by police were the knife handle, its blade missing, found under Mosby in the store; bloody clothing worn by Green, and identified by witnesses; bloody money and fingerprints at the scene and in Green's hotel.

Blood was found on the lobby floor at the Dagmar, more than four blocks from the grocery store.

Mosby spent more than two weeks in the intensive care unit at Washington County Hospital after the stabbing.

Mosby is back in his store, but continues to have health problems and financial difficulties because of huge medical bills.

He had no health insurance at the time of the attack.

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