Anne Arundel County police have charged a Baltimore man with trying to murder a woman who was beaten so badly that she was in a coma for a month after she was attacked in November and and now suffers from severe brain damage.
David Lee Stanfield, 21, of the 600 block of East Patapsco Avenue was charged Thursday with attempted first-degree murder.
Police said he had just met the woman on the night she was attacked.
The victim, Dawn Marie Gallis, 25, of Jessup, is still hospitalized in a rehabilitation center.
Police got a break in the case Feb. 8 when a witness came forward and said he saw the suspect at a Severna Park convenience store on Nov. 3, the night of the attack. Police said the witness recognized the suspect from composite sketches distributed throughout the state.
Police say Mr. Stanfield worked for several years as a mechanic at Linton Towing, in the 4700 block of Belle Grove Road, near where the attack took place. Detective Keith Williams said Mr. Stanfield quit his job shortly after the attack.
Detective Williams said police are still trying to determine exactly how Ms. Gallis was injured. She suffered several blunt blows to her head.
Ms. Gallis apparently accepted a ride from a man and they got into an argument over money. "The guy didn't even know her name," Detective Williams said.
Police found Ms. Gallis behind a warehouse after the owner of Donaldson Glass opened the rear bay door of the building and saw a puddle of blood and the trail of what appeared to be something that was dragged into the woods. He followed the trail and found the Ms. Gallis.
A court document says she was found partially clothed an hidden under a broken door in a bed of leaves. "The defendant confessed that he struck the victim in the head and thought he had killed her," the document says.
At his bail hearing yesterday, however, Mr. Stanfield denied confessing to police. District Judge Clayton Greene set bail at $300,000.
Peter Hermann is a reporter for the Anne Arundel County Sun, a suburban edition of The Baltimore Sun.