Sentencing delayed in stabbing case

June 12, 2012|By DON AINES |

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown man who entered into a plea agreement in a 2011 stabbing will have to remain in jail until he testifies against a teenager accused of shooting him, a Washington County Circuit Court judge said Tuesday.

Colin Wesley Williams, 19, was scheduled for sentencing Tuesday, but the trial of Dennis S. Marshall Jr. originally scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed until July 2.

Williams was shot on Oct. 17, 2011, in downtown Hagerstown, a crime for which Marshall is charged. The next day, Williams was charged with first-degree attempted murder in the stabbing of Malik Scott of Hagerstown near the intersection of High and George streets on the night of Oct. 6.

In March, Williams entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault, but his sentencing was delayed, according to court records.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment by a defendant that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Williams’ attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, on Tuesday asked circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley to delay sentencing and consider home detention for Williams until Marshall’s trial.

Semler said Williams, who is originally from the Bronx, N.Y., is aware he could face up to 10 years in prison for second-degree assault if he fails to testify truthfully in the Marshall case.

Beachley told Semler he might have considered releasing Williams if the delay in Marshall’s trial was longer than 20 days.

Marshall, 17, of no fixed address was arrested in the Williams shooting on Dec. 23 when he was found hiding in a house in Hagerstown. At that time, he was charged with attempted second-degree murder, which carries a 30-year maximum sentence, as well as other offenses.

Marshall last week rejected a plea offer for which he would have pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder and received a 20-year sentence.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack informed the court at that time that the state would seek a grand jury indictment against Marshall for first-degree attempted murder and use of a firearm in a crime of violence. First-degree attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Marshall was indicted on those charges on Friday, court records said.

Scott, 17, of Hagerstown, was charged by Hagerstown Police with armed robbery, assault, burglary and other offenses for an incident in February.

 He is currently free on bond and scheduled for a hearing on July 9 to determine if his case will remain in adult court or be transferred to juvenile court, court records said.

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