Man sentenced to 30 years for stabbing woman

November 27, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A 31-year-old parolee has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison for stabbing a Havre de Grace woman eight times as she walked to work.

Assistant State's Attorney Diana A. Brooks said the sentence was the maximum allowed under the plea arrangement with the man, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder last month.

James Eugene Barnes of the 100 block of Vancherie Court in Havre de Grace attacked the woman in March 1993.

the time, he had been on parole from state prison for about a month after serving seven years for assault with intent to rape and related sexual offenses, court records show.

Before Circuit Judge William O. Carr handed down Tuesday's sentence, the victim's mother, Elaine Beery, described the traumatic effect the stabbing had on her daughter.

Mrs. Beery, a nurse, was on duty at Harford Memorial Hospital when paramedics carried her daughter, Deborah Sexton, 30, into the emergency room for treatment.

"Imagine how horrible that was," Ms. Brooks said.

"Barnes tried to show remorse for his crime [at the sentencing], but he had told doctors who evaluated him that, 'given the opportunity, I'd stab her again,' " Ms. Brooks said.

Barnes must serve a minimum of 15 years before he is eligible for parole, Ms. Brooks said.

Ms. Sexton, who worked at a nearby Burger King, was taking a shortcut behind Havre de Grace Middle School when the attack occurred.

Ms. Brooks said Havre de Grace police officers quickly recognized the attacker from the victim's description -- he weighs about 250 pounds and has a full, bushy beard -- and arrested Barnes that night on a charge of attempted murder.

Despite the severity of the wounds to her neck, chest and abdomen -- one stab wound was 8 inches deep, the prosecutor said -- Ms. Sexton stumbled into the school for help.

0 Officials quickly called 911 for assistance.

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