Harmans man guilty in Severn bar stabbing

July 31, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Harmans man faces 18 months' incarceration after being convicted in Circuit Court yesterday of stabbing a man during a fight at a Severn bar.

Roger Edward Parks Jr., of the unit block of Hanford Drive, entered an Alford plea -- in which he does not admit guilt but concedes the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him -- to one count of assault with intent to maim.

According to a statement of facts read in court by prosecutor Frederick M. Paone, Thomas L. Howard, 26, of Glen Burnie, had gone with some friends to the Sierra Club bar in the 7500 block of Old Telegraph Road in Severn on June 14, 1991. Just before 1 a.m., Mr. Howard got up to go to the men's room and discovered, after knocking on its door, that it was occupied. He waited several minutes and then knocked again.

Parks came out and the two men began an argument that escalated into a fight. At some point, Parks stabbed Mr. Howard twice, once in the chest and in the stomach.

Mr. Howard "didn't realize he had been stabbed until he looked down -- well, it was a bloody mess," Mr. Paone said.

"[Mr. Howard] frankly came very close to dying. He almost bled to death," Mr. Paone said. Had the knife wound, which was located near a major artery, been just a fraction of an inch closer, "it would have been a murder case," he said.

Mr. Paone said after the hearing that the case against Parks was weakened by the fact that both men had been drinking and were acting obnoxious toward one another. Parks' blood alcohol level was never measured, but Mr. Howard's blood alcohol level was measured at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center at .25.

As part of the plea agreement, Mr. Paone will recommend that Parks be sentenced on Sept. 30 to 18 months in jail, with any additional jail time suspended.

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