Man, 27, pleads guilty to attempted murder

Howard 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, whom the girl met that day through a friend, 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.

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.

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