Man pleads to assault charges in murder attempt
Reportedly tried to kill woman outside her Waldorf apartment with a knife last September
A man charged with attempted murder for attacking a woman outside her Waldorf apartment with a knife in September pleaded guilty to first- and second-degree assault on Monday in Charles County Circuit Court.
Maurice Antonio Thorndyke, 44, of Washington, D.C., who had been scheduled to stand trial Monday, instead entered the plea agreement in the afternoon after the attorneys had spent the morning selecting a jury. He had been accused of trying to kill a woman, a former girlfriend, who suffered a deep gash to her arm, defensive wounds to her hands and other injuries as she tried to stop the
knife-wielding man, court proceedings showed.
Immediately after pleading guilty, he was sentenced to seven years of active prison time, with 25 years suspended, by Judge Erik Nyce, a visiting judge from Prince George’s County. Thorndyke had been subject to an active sentence of three to seven years, based on the terms of the plea agreement, which required him to plead guilty to first-degree assault in the attempted murder case, second-degree assault for another incident in which he reportedly assaulted the victim and threatened her with a blade, court proceedings showed.
Around 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 26, deputies with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office responded to the JSB apartment complex, located in the 2100 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf, for a reported stabbing, according to court records and proceedings. Upon arrival, officers interviewed the victim and several witnesses who told police that Thorndyke had run into the woods after being chased away by a bystander.
The victim said that when she exited her apartment, Thorndyke, with whom she had previously been in a relationship, was standing outside, charging documents indicate. He then reportedly grabbed her by her hair and attempted to stab her multiple times in the chest, telling her that he was going to kill her. She was able to grab his wrist to prevent him from stabbing her in the chest, but he was able to cut her arm.
A witness said he saw the victim holding the knife back with both her hands as she yelled for help, court records state. The witness told police that he and his wife moved toward them, but Thorndyke started to run away and was chased by another man who had run to help the victim. The man who chased Thorndyke told police that when he caught up to him, Thorndyke reportedly turned around brandishing a red blade, which he believed was a “sawz-all” blade, before he continued into a wooded area.
Police began tracking Thorndyke with a K-9 as officers formed a perimeter, and soon he was apprehended without incident after an officer saw him emerge from the woods near a dairy farm on Mattawoman Drive.
Prior to the incident, Thorndyke had an unserved protective order against him, and is alleged to have slashed the victim’s tires and cut her vehicle’s brake lines, charging documents indicate. The victim also advised officers that she had recorded him threatening to kill her over the phone.
“Maurice tried to kill me several times, on multiple different occasions,” the victim told the court before sentencing. “… On
top of that, he destroyed everything.”
“After all the things that he did to me, I forgive him,” she continued, adding that she had to move on with her life.
It was noted in court that Thorndyke was on parole in Washington, D.C., and would face 24 years of potential back-up time for a violent offense.
“I am greatly sorry. I am more than sorry,” Thorndyke said. “… I miss my daughter, you know? I love her. I’m a father.”
He said he had been taking domestic violence classes while housed in the detention center, and had no animosity toward the victim. Rather, he blamed himself, and said he was working to address personal issues. He acknowledged that he may serve a significant amount of prison time, and that his daughter, now 8, could be a grown woman by the time he is released.