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Court declines to hear appeal

June 03, 1997

Once again, convicted batterer Albert Leon Monroe's effort to get a new hearing on stabbing charges has fallen on deaf ears.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals last week refused to hear Monroe's appeal of his Nov. 21 Alford plea.

Monroe first stood before Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell Feb. 3 and asked for a new trial, accusing his attorney, Michael Morrissette, of botching his case.

But McDowell, familiar with the circumstances of the brutal June 16 stabbing, sentenced Monroe to nine years in prison, saying an agreed-upon five-year cap was unacceptable.

Monroe, 39, of Hagerstown, told McDowell he wouldn't admit guilt to the charge but that he acknowledged the state had enough evidence to prove its case - the key element of an Alford plea.

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Charges of assault with intent to murder, carrying a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment and assault were dropped in exchange for the plea.

The victim, Jeffrey Lynn Washington, 35, of Hagerstown, spent four days in Washington County Hospital with a stab wound in his lower left back.

Police reports indicate Washington had been walking along the 200 block of North Jonathan Street when a man approached him from behind and accused him of "messing with his woman."

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