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Hagerstown man pleads guilty in Mulberry Street stabbing

August 12, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man who was charged with attempted second-degree murder in a March 4 stabbing pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to second-degree assault.

Additional charges against Corry DeJon Nelson, 28, of 250 N. Mulberry St., were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Nelson allegedly stabbed Andrew Parker during a fight just after midnight March 4 in the 200 block of North Mulberry Street, Hagerstown Police Sgt. J.L. Murray wrote in charging documents.

Parker had a potentially life-threatening cut to the left side of his abdomen that caused bleeding in and around his spleen and kidney, Murray wrote.

Parker identified Nelson out of a photograph lineup as the man who stabbed him, Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap said in court Monday.

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Defense attorney Alan Winik said his client denied stabbing anyone, although he admitted he struck Parker with his fist.

Winik also alluded to "nasty racial overtones in this matter."

Part of the reason for the plea agreement, Dunlap said, was Parker's criminal history, which included a conviction for possession of a concealed dangerous weapon that might have been admissible in court.

The state was not seeking a sentence of more than five years in prison, Dunlap said.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell declined Monday to sentence Nelson, and instead ordered a presentence investigation. He also wanted to determine whether Parker was stabbed or not, and said Parker should be present at the sentencing.

"If a knife was involved, a stabbing, that makes a significant difference in what the sentence might be," McDowell said.

Nelson was being held Monday at the Washington County Detention Center, a deputy said. McDowell reduced Nelson's bond to $7,500 from $500,000.

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