Man pleads to as­sault charges in mur­der at­tempt

Re­port­edly tried to kill woman out­side her Wal­dorf apart­ment with a knife last Septem­ber

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

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.

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