Plea bargain reached in scissor assault SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

November 17, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Mount Airy man charged with assault with intent to murder after repeatedly stabbing his estranged wife in the face with a pair of scissors pleaded guilty to two lesser charges yesterday.

In an agreement reached Friday afternoon, Ernest Robert Thomas Jr., 27, pleaded guilty to maiming and malicious destruction in exchange for the state's dropping the assault-with-intent charge and charges of assault and battery.

Prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than five years of jail time for Thomas.

At Thomas' sentencing in January, prosecutors will ask Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold to impose a 15-year sentence, with all but five years suspended.

Had Thomas been convicted on all counts, he could have faced 45 years in prison.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said yesterday that she agreed to the plea because she wasn't convinced Thomas wanted to kill his wife when he attacked May 17.

"She's really a very pretty woman, and her face is one of her best attributes," Ms. Hill said of 24-year-old Tina Marie Thomas. "Her husband knows that, and I really do think that what he wanted to do was ruin her face."

According to a statement of facts read in court yesterday, Thomas broke into the basement of his wife's Chapel Road home on May 17. Thomas cut his wife's face, nose, eyes, arms and hand. When state police officers arrived, they found her in a bedroom "holding a towel to her face" to stop the bleeding.

According to the statement read by Ms. Hill, Ms. Thomas was taken to Carroll County General Hospital, where she received more than 40 stiches.

Thomas later told police investigators that Mrs. Thomas had been harassing him over the phone, and that on May 17, she "had just gotten to him."

"Thomas stated he had to go slow because Tina had covered her face with her hands to protect herself," Ms. Hill read. "He said he put the scissors between her fingers to get to her face."

Thomas is being held in the Carroll County Detention Center.

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