Man pleads guilty to attempted murder

Canine officer halted attack, rape of girl

January 23, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of attempted murder and rape in a brutal attack on a 17-year-old girl that was stopped by a Howard County canine officer who was searching for the source of screaming.

Prosecutors said they plan to ask Howard Circuit Judge Lenore R. Gelfman to sentence Malcolm Scott, who at the time of the attack was on probation after being convicted of attempted armed robbery, to 65 years in prison as part of a plea arrangement. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

As prosecutor Lisa Brown read a detailed account of the June 25 attack into the record yesterday, courtroom spectators waiting for their cases to be heard fell silent. Gelfman appeared to be shaken by the account.

In her statement to police, the girl, who was stabbed and repeatedly beaten and choked, detailed her attempts to save herself, which included twisting Scott's genitals, clawing at his eyes and stalling him as he tried to walk her farther into woods off the 5600 block of Columbia Road.

"I was praying to God that I wouldn't die," the teen-ager told police. The Sun does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Scott was arrested after Officer Patrick Eckley's canine partner, Ben, picked up a trail and led the officer to the assault.

Scott, whose last known address was in Ellicott City, tried to get away from Eckley but was stopped first by the girl, who grabbed his leg until the officer asked her to let go, then by Ben, who bit him on the calf when he ran, Brown said.

The girl gave this account to police:

She had gone to a friend's apartment in Columbia to help her pack for a move, but the friend coaxed her instead into driving to the home Scott shared with another man. The girl said she felt uncomfortable from the moment she met Scott and repeatedly tried to get her friend, who was drinking, to leave. When they left, Scott and the other man came with them.

At the friend's apartment, she sat on one couch while Scott sat on the other. At one point, she told police, Scott demanded that she sit on a pillow between his feet. When she wouldn't, he sat on the floor by her, moving his hand too close to her chest, she said.

Scott followed her outside when she went to her car to leave, grabbing her from behind as she approached her car and stabbing her twice in the chest when she screamed. He cursed at her, saying, "You should have let me give you a massage."

Scott then dragged her into some brush and beat her with his right fist while holding her throat with his left hand, she said. As he sexually assaulted her, he repeatedly hit her and threatened to kill her, she said. At one point, he asked her where she lived and told her he planned to "use" her as a "slave," she said. She told police she gave him a fake address.

He was raping her when she heard the officer, she said.

Eckley, one of several officers who responded to Columbia Road after residents of nearby apartments called 911 to report a woman screaming for help, found Scott and the girl covered in blood.

Scott admitted hurting the girl, Brown said. Doctors determined that Scott had broken his hand, probably as a result of the "repeated punching," the prosecutor said.

Scott, who was convicted of attempted armed robbery in 1998 and sentenced to seven years in prison with all but five years suspended, had stopped reporting to his probation agent 10 months before the attack, and sheriff's deputies were trying to serve a probation violation bench warrant on him at the time, according to court papers.

A violation warrant was issued in June 2001 after Scott was accused of sexually assaulting another woman and after more than one urinalysis tested positive for drugs, according to court papers. The sexual assault charges were dropped after a Howard County grand jury failed to return an indictment in the case.

Scott was released on his own recognizance, and a second warrant was issued in October 2001 after he stopped reporting to his agent and his mother said she had "put him out" of her Ellicott City home, according to court papers.

A violation hearing before Judge Dennis M. Sweeney is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Scott was also accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 1997. Those charges were placed on the court's inactive docket the same day Scott pleaded guilty in the attempted-robbery case.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.