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Man charged in stabbing says he acted in self-defense

June 22, 2009

A Hagerstown man who was charged Sunday with first-degree assault in a stabbing earlier that day told police he stabbed the victim in "self-defense," according to Washington County District Court records.

Samuel Lee Taggart Jr., 45, of 55 Avalon Ave., also is charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, court records show.

Hagerstown Police found the victim walking in the 100 block of East Antietam Street, clutching his left side under his shirt, officers said in charging documents.

The victim had a half-inch puncture wound in the left side of his chest, court records show.

While police were interviewing another man hours after the stabbing, Taggart told them the knife they were looking for was in his pocket, police alleged in charging documents.

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Taggart said, "I stabbed him in self-defense," court records show.

Taggart and the victim were arguing, and the victim pulled out a key, which Taggart thought was a knife, he told police.

The victim identified Taggart as the person who stabbed him, police alleged in charging documents.

Taggart was being held Monday night at the Washington County Detention Center, a deputy there said.

His bond was set at $50,000 during a Monday afternoon bond review hearing in Washington County District Court, records show.

-- Erin Julius

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