Judge Sentences Annapolis Man, 30, To 20 Years In Throat-cutting Assault

April 26, 1997|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Darryl Turner has nightmares and a scar across his neck to remind him of the attack last fall when a jealous suitor slashed his throat.

"Sure, I think about it," Turner, 22, said after his assailant was sentenced yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. "The guy almost killed me."

Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth sentenced Eugene Nater, 30, of the 300 block of Admiral Drive in Annapolis to 20 years in prison. Rushworth noted that Turner was lucky to be alive from the attack.

"The fact that we are not here on a murder charge is perhaps a matter of an eighth of an inch across Mr. Turner's neck," Rushworth told Nater.

Assistant State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said Nater saw Turner with Nater's former girlfriend Verket Johnson, 19, at a nightspot in October and a few hours later knocked on her door, claiming he wanted to retrieve his clothes. She said the two had broken up about three weeks earlier.

When Johnson opened the door, Nater punched her in the face, knocking her unconscious.

He grabbed a kitchen knife and ran upstairs, where he found Turner watching television in a bedroom, Leitess said.

Nater slashed Turner across the neck with "a Zorro type motion," she told Rushworth, demonstrating with her hand.

She said Nater also tried to stab Turner in the chest, but struck him in the thigh when Turner jumped away. Nater then fled the house on Wye Island Road in Annapolis, she said.

"This is a man who is violent and dangerous," Leitess said.

A jury convicted Nater on Feb. 27 of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Sentencing guidelines recommend 20 to 25 years for Nater, who admitted to cocaine use and had been convicted of three previous assaults and a count of drug possession.

Assistant Public Defender Keith Gross, Nater's lawyer, said his client went to the house only to retrieve his clothes but a fight erupted unexpectedly and "things got out of hand."

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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