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Sentence suspended in broomstick attack

May 16, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Hagerstown man who admitted hitting his daughter in the head with a broomstick last October was given a five-year suspended sentence Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Edward Allen Snively, 42, of the 200 block of South Potomac Street, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault. A charge of child abuse was dropped in exchange for the plea.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell decided on the suspended sentence after hearing from Snively's girlfriend and mother of the victim.

He also listened to what the 8-year-old girl had to say in a letter she wrote to the judge.

"She says she wants him home and that she's concerned about his drinking," McDowell said. "It must have been frightening for her."

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McDowell placed Snively on probation for three years.

Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. said the Oct. 30 incident began at 8:30 p.m. when the victim was doing her homework with her mother, Beverly Burnett, in their home.

Snively came into the room, became abusive toward the child and began to assault her, first hitting her in the leg with a broomstick, Long said.

When she struck out at him, he raised the stick over his head and hit her on top of her head, knocking her to the floor, Long said. Snively then put his foot on her back and held her there for a time.

Burnett called the police who arrested Snively, Long said. The child required no medical treatment for a cut on her lip.

Long said another incident of violence resulted in Snively spending 30 days in jail earlier this year. That incident, which happened on the street, didn't involve the child but both involved alcohol.

"He apparently medicates a mental disorder with alcohol," Long said. That condition is agoraphobia, which is a fear of open places.

Burnett confirmed that Snively hasn't been out of their home much in the past five years.

"She believes this incident was an aberration but the state is concerned that it not be repeated," Long said.

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