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Attempted homicide charge dismissed

September 27, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - An attempted homicide charge has been dropped against a Fayetteville, Pa., man charged with stabbing a man in the head and blinding him in one eye.

Ronald Jermaine Galbreath, 31, of 134 Mont Alto Road, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court on a related charge of felony aggravated assault, District Attorney John F. Nelson said.

"It was my opinion that the aggravated assault charge more appropriately fit the crime," Nelson said.

Both the aggravated assault and attempted homicide are first-degree felonies with little difference in sentencing if a person is convicted, he said.

The charges arose from a July 8 stabbing on West South Street, according to Chambersburg police records. Police received a call about a fight in progress and found a large group of people in a parking lot behind Rob and Dara's, a borough tavern.

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Police said the victim, Dennis Hicks Jr., 20, of Chambersburg, walked into the parking lot from Hollywell Avenue. He was bleeding from a cut on his left arm and a stab wound above his left eye, police said.

Hicks, who was taken to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, lost his left eye as a result of his injuries, Nelson said.

Two days after he was stabbed, Hicks told police that he knew the man who attacked him only as "Gee," but did pick Galbreath out of a photographic lineup, police said.

Nelson said the evidence indicates Hicks might have been injured in a mutual fight with Galbreath rather than in an unprovoked attack.

Galbreath has been in Franklin County Prison since his arrest. His mandatory arraignment in county court is scheduled for Nov. 8.

The July stabbing was not the first violent crime in which Hicks was injured, according to court records. On Sept. 23, 2005, he was struck by shotgun pellets in both legs in a confrontation in Chambersburg.

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