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Former Hagerstown man charged in wife's fatal stabbing

November 25, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- A former Hagerstown man charged in a warrant in the fatal stabbing of his wife on a Baltimore street was charged three years ago with pistol-whipping the same woman in Hagerstown, court records show.

Baltimore City Police said Veronica Williams died of her wounds at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Nov. 20, three days after she was stabbed.

Her husband, Cleaven Lawrence Williams Jr., 33, was shot twice by an off-duty police officer as Williams repeatedly stabbed his wife of 10 years, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The stabbing and shooting took place one block from the Eastside District Court on North Avenue, where, shortly before she was attacked, Veronica Williams, 28, received a protective order against her husband from Baltimore District Judge Jeannie J. Hong.

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Contacted Tuesday by telephone, Hong said Veronica Williams told her she just wanted to leave the marriage.

"And this was his response," Hong said.

Veronica Williams' written statement in her application for the protective order detailed an Oct. 19 argument in which Cleaven Williams held her down and cut off her hair as she screamed for her children, Hong said.

The couple had three children, all younger than 7.

Hong said Tuesday she didn't know anything about the 2005 incident in Hagerstown involving the couple.

According to Washington County Circuit Court records, Cleaven Williams pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on May 19, 2005, in connection with an incident on Jan. 15 of that year. Remaining charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

Hagerstown police said in that case, Veronica Williams was pistol-whipped, kicked and choked by Cleaven Williams. He also fired a round from a gun between her feet in the incident in the 900 block of West Washington Street, where they lived at the time, police reports said.

Under the plea agreement in that case, a three-year jail term was suspended and Cleaven Williams was fined $150, court records showed.

Within hours of the domestic call in the January 2005 case, a fire was reported at a barbershop owned by Cleaven Williams.

Fire marshals said the fire at the 7th Degree Barber Shop at 149 W. Franklin St. was deliberately set in the basement area of the shop.

The lead investigator in the case was then-Assistant Hagerstown City Fire Marshal Richard L. Miller, who said Tuesday no one was charged in that fire.

Detective Nicole Monroe of the Baltimore Police Department's public affairs office said Tuesday that a first-degree murder warrant was issued Nov. 21 for Cleaven Williams, though it cannot be served until he is able to be released from the hospital.

Williams initially was taken to Johns Hopkins, but Monroe said Tuesday he later was moved to the hospital at Baltimore Central Booking Intake at 300 E. Madison Ave.

"He's not going anywhere," Monroe said.

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