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Hearing held in attempted murder case

January 13, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Throughout much of her preliminary hearing on attempted murder charges Thursday, Musliman Clark displayed a broad closed-mouth smile, at times shaking her head as a Hagerstown Police Department detective explained how police allege she shot a 17-year-old boy Nov. 22.

Despite her attorney's contention that the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence of premeditation to advance an attempted first-degree murder charge to the higher court, Frederick County District Judge Oliver John Cejka Jr., sitting in Washington County District Court, found probable cause "to bind the defendant over on all counts."

Clark, aka "Mizzah" or "Mizza," is charged with shooting Timothy Jerome Thomas, 17, in the chest and hand at 13 S. Cannon Ave. on Nov. 22 about 4 p.m. Assistant State's Attorney Mark K. Boyer said Thomas is recovering from his injuries.

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Clark faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, handgun on person and handgun in the use of a felony/crime of violence, according to charging documents.

Cejka ordered Clark, 25, of 920 N. Mulberry St., Apt. 3S, in Hagerstown, to remain held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center.

"Court order lies," said Clark, who was wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, as a Sheriff's Department correctional deputy clasped handcuffs to her wrists.

Detective Shawn Schultz testified Thursday that three people, including Thomas, saw "Clark with a gun in her hand" before shots were fired in the 13 S. Cannon Ave. building. Thomas told police that before he was shot, he was on the front porch at his sister's apartment building and saw Clark outside, shouted at her and ran inside, Schultz testified.

Thomas closed the front door to the building and then "tried to hold the apartment door closed," but Clark forced her way through, he said.

Clark allegedly told Thomas, "'Don't run now' and then she shot him," once through his chest and once through his hand, Schultz testified.

On cross-examination, Clark's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed, questioned differences in witness statements between charging documents and Schultz's testimony. Schultz, who did not have a copy of the charging documents on hand, testified police have gotten additional information since that paperwork was prepared.

Schultz testified on direct examination that as Clark allegedly fled, she and her girlfriend were "text messaging each other in order to get her out of Hagerstown."

Schultz testified police arrested Clark on Dec. 7 in Winchester, Va.

When Clark was brought to Hagerstown, she reviewed a transcribed statement she already had made to police, Schultz testified. Upon making it to about the 10th page, she said, "I did it. It's his words against mine. Can I get a lawyer?" he testified.

Clark, seated at the defense table, shook her head, still smiling, and turned her face toward the table.

The shooting allegedly was over $90 owed to Clark, Schultz testified.

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