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Man pleads guilty to assault on girlfriend

December 29, 1998

An uncooperative victim and reluctant witnesses prompted prosecutors to settle for a plea to a lesser offense Tuesday in a March 1 incident in which a Hagerstown teenager beat his girlfriend and pointed a gun at her outside a motel room.

Shawn Jermaine Lee, 17, of 403 Park Place, was sentenced by Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell to six months in jail for his plea to a second-degree assault charge.

"The victim was uncooperative" and didn't return phone calls from prosecutors, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Joe Michael said.

Other witnesses who saw Lee push the woman were hesitant to testify, Michael said.

Charged as an adult with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and three handgun offenses, Lee admitted Tuesday that he beat the 21-year-old woman at Motel 6 in Halfway, court records said.

Washington County Sheriff's deputies and Maryland State Police went to the motel at 3:40 a.m. for a report of a fight.

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They learned the woman, who is the mother of Lee's child, had gone to the motel room to retrieve keys from Lee and found him with another woman.

Lee became angry, grabbed the woman by the hair and pushed her down to the concrete sidewalk, police reports said. The woman's head struck the concrete, police reports said.

As the woman tried to get up, her attacker grabbed her and struck her head against the concrete, police reports said. The woman almost lost consciousness, police reports said.

When a witness came to help the woman, Lee went inside the motel room and returned with a handgun, police reports said. He pointed the .25-caliber gun at the woman and threatened her, according to police reports.

- Marlo Barnhart

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