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Man charged in teen stabbing remains held without bond

April 01, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • A memorial on West Franklin Street has begun where Shakur Thornton was stabbed to death Friday night.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Washington County District Judge Mark D. Thomas said Monday during a hearing that he believed Antonio Gardner, 26, of Washington, D.C., was too much of a flight risk to be granted bond.

“I believe it is appropriate given ... his lack of ties to this community,” Thomas said.

Gardner is charged in the death of Shakur Thornton, who was stabbed in the chest late Friday near a tavern in the first block of West Franklin Street, according to the statement of probable cause obtained Monday from Washington County District Court.

Thornton, who lived at 60 E. Washington St., was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown.

By Monday, a memorial to Thornton was in place near the spot where he fell.

Gardner is charged with one count each of second-degree murder, manslaughter, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. A conviction on all counts would carry a maximum punishment of 80 years in prison and $8,000 in fines.

Gardner appeared for his bond review hearing via a closed-circuit television feed between district court and the detention center.

Police said they were called at 10:55 p.m. Friday for a report of a fight in progress in the first block of West Franklin Street, according to the statement of probable cause.

A female witness told police she was walking with Thornton and another male across the Market Lot (parking lot) to meet several females. The females were being followed by “two boys with dread-style hair and a few other boys behind them,” the statement of probable cause said.

Police say the witness told officers that the two males with the dread-style hair seemed angry at Thornton and started to argue with him. As Thornton walked into a nearby alley, one of the males with dread-style hair hit him, according to court documents.

Thornton ran and the men ran after him. Documents allege the three ended up in the first block of West Franklin Street, where they engaged in a fight. When the witness caught up, one of the females saw Thornton “on the ground, unable to speak and pointing to his chest,” the statement of probable cause said. “She observed blood on the ground under Thornton.”

Police said they interviewed Gardner on Saturday at the Hagerstown Police Department. From the onset of the interview, Gardner admitted to being part of the altercation, police allege in court documents.

Gardner said he and another male were chasing Thornton and caught up to him in the first block of West Franklin Street, according to the statement of probable cause. Gardner said as he was fighting, he took a 6-inch pocketknife from his pocket.

Police allege in court documents that Gardner told officers he and Thornton fell to the ground as they grappled.

“Gardner hit the ground first landing on his back,” court documents state. “Thornton landed on top of Gardner with his back pressed against Gardner’s body and Gardner’s hands in the area of Thornton’s chest.”

Police said Thornton’s chest wound was about 2 inches wide and appeared “to extend into his upper chest into the area at his heart.”

Officers said Gardner told them he wasn’t sure whether Thornton was stabbed while they were standing or when they fell to the ground. He said they both got up and ran when someone yelled that the police were coming, according to court documents.

Gardner told police Thornton had a problem with one of his friends, and before the fight, “started running his mouth,” documents allege.

After the stabbing, police took Gardner and two other males to the Hagerstown Police station to be questioned about the incident, court documents said. The others were not charged.

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