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Couple found not guilty in domestic case

January 29, 2001

Couple found not guilty in domestic case



A Smithsburg couple invoked their Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution on Thursday in Washington County District Court, each refusing to testify against the other about a violent domestic dispute last November in which the husband was stabbed.

With no evidence to consider, Judge Noel Spence found Barbara Louise Ambush not guilty of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a deadly weapon to inflict injury.

Duane Arnold Ambush was likewise found not guilty of second-degree assault, a charge his wife, from whom he is now estranged, had filed against him with a Washington County court commissioner, according to court records.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said the couple invoked the Fifth Amendment, which gives people the right to refuse to testify if doing so would incriminate them.

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Barbara Ambush, 51, of 77 Amanda Drive, initially was charged with first-degree assault but that felony charge was dropped on Dec. 28, 2000, according to court records.

She was charged Nov. 27 after her husband was stabbed during a domestic dispute at their Whispering Hills home, according to Washington County Sheriff's deputies.

Deputies went to the housing development in Smithsburg at 10:40 p.m. after receiving a report of a domestic dispute that turned violent.

Duane Ambush, 46, of the same address, was taken to Washington County Hospital, where he was treated for a reported stab wound to the hand and released.

- Marlo Barnhart

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