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Man faces trial on child abuse charges

January 02, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Michael Wolford shook his head from side to side several times Tuesday while listening to police testify in Washington County District Court about how he allegedly tried to silence his crying 5-month-old son by choking him and sticking his fingers down the baby's throat in early December.

Nonetheless, Wolford, 21, formerly of the 800 block of South Potomac Street, was bound over for further prosecution by Judge Ralph France.

Wolford has been charged with first-degree assault on the child and second-degree assault on the child's mother, Kathleen Garry, who tried to stop him from hurting the baby, police said.

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Other charges include child abuse and reckless endangerment, police said.

Det. Kenneth Sterner said Wolford, Garry and the baby were in a bedroom at their apartment around 5 a.m. on Dec. 5 when the baby awoke and began to cry.

Wolford allegedly picked the baby up, threw him onto the bed and sat on the child's legs, police reports said. He choked him around the neck and then stuck a finger down the child's throat, again to stop the baby from crying, Sterner said.

Garry intervened and then ran out of the bedroom to get help from others in the apartment, Sterner said.

Wolford allegedly told everyone to get out and kept repeating, "I've had enough. I've just had it,'' Sterner said.

When another person in the apartment tried to take the child, Wolford allegedly grabbed the baby around the neck and tried to wrest the baby away.

When police arrived on the scene, Wolford was taken into custody. He allegedly denied attacking the child.

He has been held in the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond since the incident.

Sterner said he observed red marks on the child's neck. The child was taken to Washington County Hospital where he was treated and released, hospital officials said.

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