Man gets 25 years in attack on teacher

CRIME WATCH

Crime Watch

June 10, 2006|By JULIE BYKOWICZ | JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER

A random attack left the Baltimore special-education teacher so scarred -- emotionally and physically -- that she said in court she cannot return to work.

Cicely Simpson, 29, was robbed, stabbed, had her throat slashed and then bleach poured over her by a man who forced his way into her Northwest Baltimore apartment last June. At the time, she taught emotionally disturbed children at Curtis Bay Elementary School.

In Baltimore Circuit Court on Wednesday, her neighbor, Reginald Markquel Coppage, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and a weapons violation, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

"This was just an awful, random case with no good explanation," said Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Sites.

Court documents say Coppage asked her for money when he grabbed Simpson the evening of June 25 as she was leaving her apartment in the 2500 block of North Edgecombe Circle. Simpson began crying.

Before she was left for dead, according to court documents, Simpson was tied up, gagged and made to disrobe. When she offered to get the robber money from her car, he slashed her from ear to ear and stabbed her in the stomach and chest, the court documents say.

Her later poured bleach over her wounds and kicked her to see if she was dead, the court documents say.

Sites said Simpson has permanent scarring on her neck and abdomen, and partial hearing loss in one ear. Her emotional scars have prevented Simpson from returning to the classroom, Sites said.

"She said she has always tried to do good," Sites said. "She doesn't understand why this person picked her. And now she never knows who to trust."

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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