Man gets 3 yearsfor shooting girlfriend 3 times

April 25, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A former Naval Academy driver has been sentenced to three years in prison for shooting his girlfriend during an argument that she said was prompted by her refusal to have sex.

Melvin Powell, 53, of the 1200 block of Creek Drive in Annapolis pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to assault with intent to murder in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Powell, a 23-year employee who was fired because of his conviction, admitted that he fired three bullets into Marilyn Smith's head and chest as she lay in bed in their home in September.

Ms. Smith said the shooting came after she refused to have sex, but Powell said Friday it occurred when he was drunk and after the woman kept badgering him.

"Where this sex thing came from, I don't know," he told Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Prosecuting and defense attorneys agreed Friday that Powell had a solid work history and only one criminal conviction. He was on probation for assault and battery for beating up Ms. Smith when the shooting occurred, said Assistant State's Attorney Ron Naditch.

"From everything we know, he was a good man up until this incident," he said.

According to court records, Powell woke Ms. Smith about 11 p.m. Sept. 17 and told her he wanted to have sex. When she refused, he took a .25-caliber handgun from his night stand and loaded it. He then said, "Goodbye, Marilyn," and shot her in the forehead.

A written statement by the victim outlined the rest of the attack: Ms. Smith said, "Melvin, you shot me."

He replied, "Yeah, I shot you."

As she reached for the phone to call 911, Powell asked what she was doing. When she told him she was calling for help, Powell replied, "No, you're not."

He said goodbye to her a second time and shot her in the chest.

Ms. Smith ran into the hallway of the home, where Powell grabbed her. They both slipped in a pool of blood and fell. She escaped, and Powell chased her to a neighbor's house, shooting at her as she ran and hitting her once in the right arm.

Ms. Smith, 38, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of the gunshot wounds.

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