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Trial postponed for man held in fatal stabbing

May 29, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

A man charged in the Oct. 31, 2008, stabbing death of Billy Lee Black near his Church Street home in Hagerstown must undergo a mental evaluation before he can stand trial.

Alec Scott Eger, 20, is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death of the 47-year-old Black.

Eger, whose trial was scheduled to begin Monday, has been at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) maximum security facility in Jessup, Md., since April 1, according to court records.

The center evaluates patients and provides treatment to offenders found to be not criminally responsible or incompetent to stand trial, according to information found on the DHMH Web site.

Since he has been at the center, Eger has "exhibited active symptoms of psychosis as well as depression and possible seizure disorder," according to a defense motion filed May 6 to continue the trial to another date.

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Eger's defense entered a not criminally responsible plea May 15.

Police allege Eger confronted Black Oct. 31 about 5:30 a.m. as Black was leaving his house to go to work. Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Paul Kifer said Eger accused Black of physically abusing Black's 15-year-old daughter, whom Kifer described as a friend of Eger's.

Kifer said police have not confirmed any allegations of abuse.

Police said Black was stabbed "multiple times about the head and neck," and his body was dragged to a spot near his truck and his wallet was taken.

Black's daughter, Danielle Black, is charged as an adult with soliciting her father's murder. Her defense argued during a hearing Tuesday that the case be adjudicated in juvenile court.

A Washington County Circuit Court judge on Thursday ordered Danielle Black stand trial in the adult system, and she was being held Friday night at the Washington County Detention Center.

Assistant Public Defender Jerry Joyce said Tuesday during a scheduled suppression hearing the defense would try to suppress a statement Eger made to police that might have violated his Miranda rights.

Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. declined to go forward with the hearing, saying it would not be appropriate until issues regarding Eger's competency are resolved.

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