Man pleads guilty to attempted murder of wife



An Ellicott City man pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted second-degree murder, nine months after he admitted to police that he choked his wife during an argument and caused her to fall into a coma.

Ghafour Asemani, 38, could receive a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13.

Samira Salmassi remains in a coma at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore. A statement read at yesterday's hearing by Assistant State's Attorney Stacy A. Mayer and approved by Asemani recounted how the couple divorced in 2002 but lived together with their three children in the 8800 block of Town and Country Blvd.

Early on July 9, Asemani confronted Salmassi with a recording he had made of her talking to other men on the telephone, the statement said. It said that when the argument escalated, Asemani struck Salmassi in the head with the tape recorder.

He placed his hands on her shoulders when she became upset in the bathroom and "continued to push on her shoulders until he pushed her to the bottom of the bathtub," the statement said. "He then realized that she was unresponsive."

Asemani took the children, ages 12, 9 and 7, to his sister's home in Virginia. He returned to Howard County and surrendered to police, telling them, "I killed my wife."

Officers found Salmassi unconscious in the bathtub.

Asemani, who came to the U.S. from Iran on a student visa in 1984, served a 2 1/2 -year sentence for mail and health-care fraud committed while the couple lived in Jackson, Miss., court records show.

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