A Severna Park man admitted yesterday that he broke into his former girlfriend's home, bound and gagged her and tried to kill her after she moved to alert his new landlord to his problem behavior.
Matthew Erisman, 39, pleaded guilty before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck to attempted second-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the Dec. 19, 2003, attack on Lucille Listorti of Severna Park.
Prosecutors had vowed to seek the maximum punishment of 30 years in prison. Under a plea agreement, Erisman can get no less than 10 years in prison when he is sentenced April 13.
A consecutive 20 years for burglary will be suspended, and he will be placed on five years' probation.
Assistant State's Attorney Kimberly DiPietro said that Listorti broke off a two-year relationship with Erisman in spring 2003. The prosecutor gave the following account:
Erisman continued to contact the victim and, by that November, was calling and e-mailing her five times a day and showing up uninvited at her home.
She obtained a protective order after he contacted her friends, but he continued to contact her.
He intercepted a letter she placed in his new landlord's mailbox, and shortly afterward showed up at a restaurant where she was having dinner, DiPietro said.
On the evening of Dec. 19, 2003, she returned from walking her dog to find he had broken into her house. He tied her up, beat her and threatened to kill her and members of her family.
He threatened her with a blow torch, staple gun, knife and razor, DiPietro said.
When he went upstairs to make sure doors were locked, she was able to pull down a phone and call 911. Police responded, and when Erisman heard them, he stabbed Listorti and beat her with a hammer, DiPietro said.
She was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
Erisman's lawyer, assistant public defender John F. Gunning, said Erisman is receiving mental health treatment at the county jail. He expects to ask Manck to recommend that Erisman get further treatment at the Patuxent Institution.