Crownsville man gets eight years in attack on girlfriend

Defendant's criminal record includes assaults and drugs

August 11, 2010|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A Crownsville man convicted of an attack on his girlfriend and accused of dousing a trailer with gasoline while she was inside was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison. The punishment was handed down after an Anne Arundel judge said she was bothered by his history of violence, leaving drug treatment programs and blaming others for his actions.

Circuit Court Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch told Thomas Eldridge Paddy, 44, of the Summerhill Trailer Park that although experts disagreed on whether he has bipolar disorder, she ordered he serve prison time in part because "you have turned your back" on previous offers of drug treatment.

Paddy has more than 10 convictions, was on probation at the time of the crime on July 31, 2009, and in letters to his girlfriend from jail said he was sorry but blamed her, said Assistant State's Attorney Anastasia Prigge.

"Everything pretty much is true," Paddy, 44, told Jaklitsch, acknowledging that "I have alcohol and drug problems and now a mental disorder." He said his girlfriend brought their two children to visit him while he was jailed awaiting trial "so that there is a chance that I can be a father to my children."

In April, a jury convicted Paddy of first-degree assault on his girlfriend and related charges but found him not guilty of attempted arson. Prosecutors said a dispute between the couple escalated into his attacking her and pouring gasoline on their trailer. However, his attorney had contended that Paddy, who was drunk and high on PCP, did not have any matches and did not intend serious harm. Assistant public defender Karl Gordon had sought a sentence that focused on substance abuse and mental health treatment for Paddy.

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