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Hagerstown teen acquitted of second-degree attempted murder

Victim was sentenced to six months in jail for refusing to testify against assailant

July 05, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Maurice McMillan
Submitted photo

A Washington County Circuit Court jury Thursday acquitted a Hagerstown teenager of second-degree attempted murder, but convicted him of first-degree assault, while a judge sentenced the man he was accused of stabbing to six months in jail for refusing to testify.

The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before finding Maurice D. McMillan guilty of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Judge John H. McDowell then sentenced him to nine years in prison.

McMillan of 623 N. Locust St. had been charged with stabbing Jarvel Fostion, 20, of Hagerstown during a fight outside McMillan’s home on the night of Oct. 9, 2011. McMillan was 16 at the time, but was charged as an adult.

“I could actually see ribs and a lung,” Hagerstown Police Officer Jon Molineaux testified.
Fostion’s injuries were “bad enough that I thought he was going to die,” said Molineaux, who administered first aid at the scene.

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Fostion was stabbed nine times, Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen said in her opening statement.

A friend of Fostion’s, Malik Powell, testified that Fostion and McMillan were texting back and forth about a stolen bicycle, and that he followed Fostion to McMillan’s house.

Powell said he saw the two get into an fight and heard Fostion say: “He stabbed me.”

He also testified that he saw another man swinging a knife, but that the person did not attack Fostion.
He said he later learned the man with the knife was Coco Estrada, who goes by the street name “Rock.”

“The streets talk, and I learned his name later,” Powell said, answering a question by defense attorney Robin Ficker.

When Fostion’s turn to testify came, McDowell advised him outside the presence of the jury that he was under a court order to testify and his truthful testimony could not be used against him.

But if he refused to testify, he could be held in contempt, McDowell told him.

“I told you I was going to remain silent,” Fostion said. “I guess you’ll have to find me in contempt.”

McDowell gave Fostion six months in jail to be served in addition to any other sentence he receives in another case. Fostion is being held for trial on charges he pulled a handgun on a city police officer in April.

Ficker then called Estrada to the stand, and he testified that Fostion was armed with a handgun.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Fostion had no weapon, and had stripped down to a T-shirt and basketball shorts before getting to McMillan’s house.

Estrada previously entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault in the same incident and was recently sentenced to five years, with all but 5 1/2 months of time served suspended, according to court records.

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

No knife or gun were found. McMillan fled after the stabbing, and his parents took him to police headquarters on Oct. 11, according to testimony.

The maximum sentence for first-degree assault is 25 years — five years less than the maximum for second-degree attempted murder.

The judge sentenced McMillan to 20 years, suspending all but nine years of the sentence.

McMillan’s case had been delayed earlier this year when five prosecution witnesses failed to show for his trial.

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