Man sentenced in claw hammer attack

January 22, 1998


Staff Writer

Photographs of the defendant as a Cub Scout leader and cards and drawings from his son didn't dissuade Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III from imposing a seven-year prison sentence Wednesday on a man accused of attacking his live-in girlfriend with a claw hammer last April.

Levi Holman III, 34, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to one-count of second-degree assault halfway through a Sept. 18 trial in which the victim testified she was attacked with a claw hammer on April 27 in the home she shared with Holman.

Teresa Ann Smith, 32, of 1503 Broadfording Road, testified in September she was struck repeatedly in her head and body during the assault at her home.


Shortly after her testimony, Holman pleaded guilty.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Duane Gigeous said the couple's now 8-year-old son was present during the attack, which left blood splattered all over the kitchen.

Gigeous asked for the maximum 10-year sentence.

Defense attorney Dan Mahone said Holman isn't like that and pointed to his work as a Cub Scout leader and his loving relationship with his son.

Mahone said Holman and Smith were together for 17 years, during which time there was domestic violence only when he was drinking.

"The public would be safe if he does certain things," Mahone said, asking for a suspended sentence.

"The court cannot look into the heart and soul of anyone," Wright said Wednesday. "But there must be punishment when people do bad things."

Wright pointed to reports of Holman's penchant for anger and aggression, especially when he is drinking.

Holman apologized to the victim, her family and his family for the "terrible mess."

The attack occurred around 3 a.m. and when Washington County sheriff's deputies arrived, Holman was threatening Smith with an iron, police reports said.

Smith was taken to the hospital by Community Rescue Service personnel, police said.

Holman originally was charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and attempted second-degree murder, police said.

Wright gave Holman credit for 269 days he's served awaiting trial and sentencing. When released, Holman will be on probation for three years.

Holman was also ordered to pay $3,300 in restitution to Smith for her medical bills.

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