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Man accused of stabbing father-in-law to continue being held without bond

Joshua Bassford's charges include attempted first- and second-degree murder

September 21, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Washington County District Court judge Wednesday ordered a Hagerstown man accused of stabbing his father-in-law to be continued held without bond.

Following a preliminary hearing, Judge Dana Moylan Wright also found there was probable cause to transfer the case of Joshua Bassford, 22, to county Circuit Court.

Bassford is charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to cause injury.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 24, Hagerstown police investigated a report of a stabbing at 136 E. Irvin Ave., where Bassford and his father-in-law, Frederick Wiebel, both lived.

Wiebel had suffered a stab wound to the chest and been driven to Meritus Medical Center by his wife, Officer Bradley Helman testified at the hearing.

Reading from the police report of the incident, Helman said that Bassford and Wiebel got into an argument over files being deleted from a computer. Bassford ran upstairs and returned with a knife, stabbing Wiebel, Helman testified.

Wiebel's wife heard Bassford ask Wiebel, "Do you have a death wish?," as he stabbed him, Helman testified.

Assistant Public Defender Amy Taylor-Heimberg told the judge that the incident happened during a heated argument between two men with a "long history" of disputes. She argued there was not enough evidence to support the attempted first-degree murder charge because there was no premeditation.

Wright responded that the evidence indicated Bassford left the room and returned with a knife.

Premeditation can be formed in a brief moment, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael told Wright. He also reminded the judge of Bassford's alleged "death wish" statement to Wiebel.

Taylor-Heimberg said there was no evidence introduced at the hearing of serious bodily injury to Wiebel and, therefore, not enough evidence to support the attempted second-degree murder charge.

"If the stabbing were with a toothpick I'd agree with you," Wright said.

Bassford has been held without bond in the Washington County Detention Center since his arrest, and a bond review hearing followed his preliminary hearing.

Before Wright denied bond, Michael said that Bassford's criminal record included a 2006 second-degree assault conviction and a 2007 conviction for failure to comply with a peace order.

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