Elkton man guilty in stabbing at stadium
CENTREVILLE — An Elkton man was convicted of felony assault in a stabbing at a high school football game following a two-day trial in Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court.
On March 30, Judge Thomas G. Ross found Rodney O’Neal Wesson, 50, guilty of first-degree assault,
second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. The case was prosecuted by Queen Anne’s County Deputy State’s Attorney Michael “Mick” Cuches. Wesson, who claimed he acted in selfdefense, was represented by Michael Jason Fricker of the county Public Defender’s Office. Wesson elected to be tried by judge rather than jur y.
Wesson was attending the Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, Queen Anne’s County High School versus Elkton High School football playoff game at Lions Stadium when he got into an argument with his estranged wife, who also was attending the game to watch their son play, according to the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office.
As the argument escalated, Eugene King, 39, also of Elkton, a friend of Mrs. Wesson, tried to intervene and Wesson stabbed King in the left chest, police said. The assault occurred on the visitors side of the field shortly before 8 p.m.
Three Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s deputies were working security at the game. About 8 p.m., near the
end of halftime, First Sgt. John Meyers, Dfc. George Sewell and Dfc. Mitch Jones were standing near the entry gate when people in the stands yelled to them that a man running from the visitor side bleacher area had just stabbed someone.
Sewell saw a man walking quickly toward the exit. When Sewell made eye contact with him, the man took off running through the gate, police said. Deputies gave chase, shouting numerous times for the man to stop. The man, later identified as Wesson, ran out of the gate and toward the parking lot. While running, he passed a garbage can and threw something into it, police said.
Sewell was able to tackle Wesson. Then Jones checked the nearly empty trash can and found a black, folding, steel knife with a four-inch blade, police said.
Police and Cuches said the knife was the weapon used to stab King, who was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment where he was listed in good condition Saturday afternoon and released later that day, according to a hospital spokesman.
Luckily, King did not suffer any injuries to internal organs or other vital body parts, Cuches said.
Cuches successfully argued Wesson was the initial aggressor and used deadly force to attack King, so selfdefense did not apply.
When the assault occurred, school officials called it an isolated incident and said it was quickly contained to a degree that the football game continued without interruption.
“A large portion of the crowd didn’t know it had happened until the ambulance showed up,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Dale Patrick after the game.
Star Democrat sports editor William Haufe, who was covering the game, confirmed that.
“I was on the Queen Anne’s sideline, and no one there knew anything about it. I didn’t know anything had happened until the helicopter showed up,” Haufe said.
He said he thought the helicopter was flying low, then realized it was landing near the concession booth. Haufe said he asked the Queen Anne’s trainer if she knew why the helicopter was there, and she said there had been a stabbing.
Sentencing is set for April 25 in Circuit Court. Wesson faces up to 25 years incarceration, according to the state’s attorney’s office.