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Man pleads guilty to attempted murder in stabbing

April 27, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - The man responsible for a botched murder-suicide pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Washington County Circuit Court to attempted first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Mark Steven Sande, 42, asked his ex-girlfriend if she was "ready to meet Jesus" and then slashed her in the face and neck repeatedly with a razor-like weapon Dec. 4, 2006, Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler said Thursday as she recited the state's statement of facts.

Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. accepted Sande's guilty plea and ordered a presentence investigation. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state dismissed other charges against Sande.

As part of the plea agreement, the state asked Long to consider a sentence not to exceed 50 years. The maximum penalty for conviction of attempted first-degree murder is life in prison, Long said.

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A sentencing date will be set after the presentence investigation is complete, Long said.

Pauler said Sande's ex-girlfriend was cleaning the residence she shared with Sande when he called and asked her to give their relationship one more chance. He went to the residence and the woman opened the door for him, she said.

Sande broke the cellular phone she was holding, and told her he had written a suicide note, Pauler said.

The father of three told the woman he had wanted to kill her earlier while she was at work, but there were too many people there, Pauler said. He threw her to the ground, dislocated her shoulder and punched her in the head, she said.

The woman fought him and briefly got away, but he grabbed her hair, threw her to the floor and began slashing at her face, Pauler said.

Sande stopped when a male friend of the woman's stopped by to check on her. Sande also attacked the man, cutting him on his face and the back of his head, Pauler said.

The man went to a neighbor's house and asked them to call for help, and Sande ran away, Pauler said.

The woman underwent surgery at Washington County Hospital for six gashes to her face and neck area, Pauler said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies found Sande in the bathtub of his home on East Chestnut Street in Funkstown. He had cut his wrists, Pauler said.

Police also found a hunting-style knife and a blood-covered 3-inch or 4-inch blade, Pauler said.

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