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Girl sentenced for stabbing her rival

June 05, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Melody Ann Seal will spend more time in jail for stabbing another teenage girl last August, but not the full 10 years Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley originally imposed Thursday.

Seal, 16, of Hagerstown, on Jan. 22 pleaded guilty to first-degree assault.

"Nothing ... no boy is worth going to jail and ruining my life," Seal said. "I'm very, very sorry."

Victim Delanna Womack, who attended every hearing, said aloud that she didn't accept Seal's apology.

In addition to first-degree assault, Seal had been charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, assault with intent to maim, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, court records said.

Womack was hospitalized after the Aug. 21 stabbing. She had been stabbed in the hands, the middle of her back and the upper chest, and suffered a collapsed lung.


Police said Womack and several other girls drove to Seal's home that night and Seal went outside. An argument with Womack ensued, presumably over a boy, police said.

Seal went inside her apartment. When she came back out, she allegedly jumped through the passenger-side window and struck Womack in the chest with a steak knife, police said.

Several of the other girls tried to pull Seal back but Womack was stabbed again, police said.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said Thursday that Seal should get prison time, not local jail time. He said she needs counseling for drug and alcohol abuse and anger management.

Defense attorney Eric Reed argued that she has no juvenile record and has been abused and neglected since she was 7.

Seal, who has been in jail since last August, said she has seen how her future could have been - as a drug addict or prostitute.

"I've learned how to walk away from arguments," Seal said.

Beachley said he believed Seal's sincerity, but that he didn't think she understood the seriousness of her actions.

"Delanna's body was invaded with a weapon," Beachley said. "But she also has to live with the thoughts of being stabbed."

Beachley, saying the use of weapons won't be tolerated, sentenced Seal to 10 years in prison. He suspended all but 18 months and gave Seal credit for the time she already has spent in the Washington County Detention Center.

When released, she will be on probation for five years. Counseling was ordered and she was told to have no contact with the victim.

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