A 21-year-old Baltimore man admitted yesterday to beating a 25-year-old Jessup woman who was found partially clothed and barely alive last November in a wooded area in Brooklyn Park.
The woman, who was found under a door in a bed of leaves, remained in a coma for more than a month after the attack, court records show.
David Lee Stanfield pleaded guilty yesterday in county Circuit Court to a charge of assault with intent to murder.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, rape, assault and reckless endangerment and agreed that Stanfield could be sentenced to no more than 13 years in prison.
Assistant State's Attorney Ronald M. Naditch said the facts of the crime presented unusual legal issues centering on whether Stanfield knew or should have known the woman was alive when he abandoned her in the woods.
"I don't know what a judge would have done with it, and I don't know that the defendant did,"Naditch said. "I think we both got something out of the plea. He gota (sentencing) cap, a cap I could live with, and I got a characterization of the crime, the most serious the court could have given to it."
More than three months after the woman was found in the woods near the 4700 block of Belle Grove Road, a county police detective interviewed Stanfield in connection with the crime. In that interview, Stanfield admitted punching the woman and, fearing she had been killedas she hit her head while falling, attempted to hide her body.
"Ipanicked," he said.
"I didn't mean to hurt her. The only reason Idrug her up in the woods is because I thought she was dead and I didn't want to go to jail."
The man told police that he met the womanat closing time outside a bar and that she accepted his offer of a ride home. He said that he drove to the secluded location and had sex with her and that she began hitting him after he refused her demand for $100.
"I don't know what made me hit her, but that's when I hither," he told police. "I hit her backhand. I hit her good. I didn't mean to do all that."
Medical reports included in court files showthat the woman suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain injury that left her right side temporarily paralyzed and her speech impaired.
Naditch said the woman is substantially recovered, but still suffers from memory loss -- she doesn't remember the night of the assault -- and from weakness on her right side.
Stanfield is being heldat the county detention center in lieu of $300,000 bond pending his sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 6.