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Man gets 15 years in prison for stabbing father-in-law

April 09, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown man who pleaded guilty to the 2011 stabbing of his father-in-law was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to 15 years in state prison.

Joshua Bassford, 23, formerly of 136 E. Irvin Ave., pleaded guilty in January to first-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure in the Aug. 24, 2011, stabbing of Frederick Wiebel Jr. at the East Irvin Avenue residence.

Charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder were dismissed at the Jan. 31 plea hearing, court records show. Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion said at the time that the state would ask for a 15-year prison sentence.

At the plea hearing, Wiebel said he told Judge John H. McDowell that 35 years to life for attempted murder would be too harsh a sentence for Bassford. On Monday, Wiebel said he asked the judge to have Bassford serve the full 15 years.

Wiebel said he read a statement to the court that his grandson, Bassford’s infant son, will be 15 years old upon his father’s release if Bassford serves the entire sentence. The statement read that Wiebel wanted his grandson to have “an ample opportunity to learn the decency of life under a proper upbringing.”

The attack on Wiebel began with an argument after Bassford wiped out Wiebel’s computer records, Cirincion said at the plea hearing in January. The 20 years of computer records included books he was working on, Wiebel said at the plea hearing.

Bassford left the room, returned with a knife and stabbed Wiebel in the chest, puncturing a lung, Cirincion said at the plea hearing.

McDowell sentenced Bassford to 20 years in state prison for first-degree assault, suspending five years, court records show. The judge gave him another three-year suspended sentence on the weapons charge and three years of supervised probation following his release from prison, according to court records.

Bassford was given credit for 229 days served since his arrest, court records show.

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