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Case against Hagerstown man accused in stabbing forwarded to Circuit Court

July 31, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- The case of a Hagerstown man charged with attempted second-degree murder in a stabbing downtown was forwarded Tuesday to Washington County Circuit Court.

Police say that Christopher Thomas Connolly, 21, of 339 N. Locust St., stabbed a man who was dating the mother of Connolly's child.

Connolly has been charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and other crimes.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II on Tuesday determined there was enough evidence to forward Connolly's case.

Hagerstown police responded June 29 to Washington County Hospital, where Travis Clayton Pettit was being treated for stab wounds, Washington County District Court documents show.

Pettit had cuts on his cheek and chin, including a 6-inch cut on his chin, Hagerstown Police Officer Edward Plummer testified Tuesday. The victim also had a stab wound on his bicep, Plummer said.

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Tara Goetz, Pettit's girlfriend and the mother of Connolly's child, told police that she and Pettit were standing outside Pettit's home when Connolly and another man approached them. Connolly and Pettit began to argue, charging documents show.

Goetz tried to leave and gave Pettit a kiss, when Connolly hit him in the head, documents show.

The men started to fight when a third man, Sebastian Connolly, grabbed Pettit.

Sebastian Connolly held Pettit while Christopher Connolly stabbed the victim with a box cutter-style knife, Plummer testified Tuesday.

Pettit's mother broke up the fight, documents show.

During a statement to police, Connolly said he used a knife he carries on Pettit seven or eight times, Plummer testified.

Under questioning by Assistant Public Defender John Maclean, Plummer also testified that Pettit had told Connolly, "I got your girl and now I got your daughter, too."

Maclean argued to the judge that Connolly acted in self-defense after Pettit, a larger man, taunted and fought him.

Conviction of attempted second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Conviction of first-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

Connolly was being held Tuesday at the Washington County Detention Center, a deputy said.

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