Woman is acquitted of murder try, convicted of second-degree assault

August 25, 1999|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Howard County jury has acquitted a Columbia woman of attempted murder in the stabbing of an ex-boyfriend in February.

The 12-member jury found Adrianne A. Abron, 32, not guilty of attempted second-degree murder and of attempted voluntary manslaughter Monday night. The jury deadlocked on a charge of first-degree assault and convicted Abron on a second-degree assault charge.

"It was a fair outcome," said Jonathan Portner, Abron's lawyer. "The case was absolutely flawed from the beginning" on the two most serious charges.

Prosecutor Jeannie Cho argued that Abron tried to kill her former boyfriend, Richard Matthews, 40, during an altercation about 4: 20 p.m. Feb. 8 at Oakland Mills Road and Carters Lane.

Matthews said Abron assaulted and kicked him three times before stabbing him with a knife.

Abron and her attorney said the stabbing was in self-defense. Abron testified that she was driving down Oakland Mills Road when she spotted Matthews walking with a friend.

She pulled over and asked Matthews to return the keys to her apartment, she testified, when a fight ensued and he assaulted her.

Abron testified that Matthews beat her and threw rocks at her car, and that her baby was in the back seat. She said that Matthews was holding her in a headlock when she stabbed him.

She also said she tried to escape but couldn't drive away because traffic was too heavy.

Portner told jurors that Howard County police conducted an "incompetent investigation" and jumped to conclusions. Police lost pictures of Abron's car, and, Portner alleged, did not interview several witnesses at the scene.

Cho said she would discuss with Matthews whether to re-charge Abron with first-degree assault.

"I would have hoped for more," Cho said of the verdict. "But I accept what they [jurors] decided and what they were unable to decide."

Pub Date: 8/25/99

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