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Man pleads guilty in assault of homeless man

November 23, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 20-year-old Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree assault for beating a homeless man sleeping at City Park in August.

Travis Michael Harvey, whose last known address was listed in charging documents as 441 Summit Ave., faces a maximum 25-year sentence for the charge.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, who accepted Harvey's plea, ordered a presentence investigation, but did not set a sentencing date.

Harvey requested that he be sentenced soon because the Maryland Division of Correction facility where he is being held on an unrelated conviction does not allow visitors and his mother, who cried throughout the hearing, could not see him.

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"I think he's forfeited his wants and desires by his actions in this case," Wright said.

Harvey's co-defendant, Brandon Jerome Harris, 21, is scheduled for a motions hearing in February.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler said Harvey and Harris went to City Park Aug. 11 because "Mr. Harris had spent the night previous to this in the park and was upset about being approached by homosexuals."

About 3 a.m., when the men got to the park, they saw two men sleeping in a pavilion and "pulled two fence posts out of the ground, beat the males and took their wallets," Pauler said.

Harvey stole James Gleason's wallet as Gleason tried to fight off Harris, Pauler said. Harvey had been beating Gleason's friend, Frank Layman, she said.

Harvey was to go to trial on the first-degree assault charge - among other charges dropped in exchange for his plea - next week. Wednesday's hearing was scheduled for motions.

Harris, who is charged with two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed robbery, among other charges, is scheduled for a motions hearing in February, according to court records.

Harris was being held Wednesday at the Washington County Detention Center on $500,000 bond, a jail spokesman said.

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