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Judge: Stabbing case can proceed

October 04, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A Washington County District Court judge on Thursday found probable cause to proceed with an attempted second-degree murder case against Maurice Raymond Frock Jr., who is charged with stabbing an 84-year-old Walnut Towers resident on Sept. 4.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Mark Boyer asked for a $1 million bond, but Judge R. Noel Spence set Frock's bond at $200,000, fully secured.

"I trust that that's going to be tantamount to being held without bond," Spence said.

Public Defender Brian Hutchison asked Spence to determine there was insufficient evidence for the attempted second-degree murder charge - one of 23 charges Frock, 47, faces in the case.

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Hutchison said the victim, John Hoffman Jr., never went to the hospital and had only a cut one inch long.

Spence said he would let the matter of Frock's intentions regarding the stabbing be determined in Washington County Circuit Court.

Hoffman was stabbed in the chest after he confronted Frock in the elevator in the east building of Walnut Towers as he was trying to retrieve stolen property from Frock, Hagerstown Police Officer John Lehman testified during the preliminary hearing.

Hoffman was treated by Community Rescue Service at the scene and later went to the H.W. Murphy Community Health Center to have his wound treated and get a tetanus shot, Hoffman has said.

The crimes created an outcry for increased security at the 150-unit, two-building public housing complex for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Since then security patrols have increased at Walnut Towers and Potomac Towers on West Baltimore Street, Hagerstown Housing Authority Executive Director Ted Shankle said in a telephone interview.

Police were called to the 12 S. Walnut St. public housing complex shortly before 7 a.m. on Sept. 4 for a report of a stabbing and robberies on the fourth floor, according to Lehman and charging documents.

Frock, of 125 Elm St., and another man were buzzed into the building around 6 a.m. by a resident, police said.

At about 7 a.m., residents Roger Cornell and Elizabeth Harrison were in Cornell's apartment with the door open when Frock walked in with a knife and demanded money, Lehman testified.

Lehman testified that Frock took two fanny packs from the apartment before going across the hall to the apartment of Clara Goyt with the knife still in hand.

When Goyt opened the door, Frock walked past her, took two purses and headed toward the elevator, Lehman testified.

Meanwhile, Harrison had been yelling for help, Lehman said. Hoffman heard her and confronted Frock, he testified.

Frock was found in a fifth-floor apartment after police overheard a suspicious conversation inside, police said. Lehman testified that he overheard Frock say, "They already got me once for robbery."

Frock also was charged with four counts each of first-degree assault and second-degree assault, three counts each of armed robbery and robbery, two counts each of first-degree burglary and theft, and one count each of attempted robbery, attempted armed robbery, reckless endangerment and carrying a deadly weapon, court records state.

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