Den­ton man gets life for at­tempted mur­der

Times-Record - - NEWS - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­

DEN­TON — A Den­ton man con­victed of a first-de­gree at­tempted mur­der of one woman and first-de­gree as­sault of an­other woman was sen­tenced to life in prison Fri­day, Jan. 13, in Car­o­line County Cir­cuit Court.

Sean P. McGill, 45, re­ceived the life sentence for the at­tempted stab­bing mur­der last May of his ex-girl­friend, Heather Hill. He re­ceived an ad­di­tional con­sec­u­tive 25year sentence for as­sault­ing Jackie Roach, a friend who tried to help Hill dur­ing the at­tack; an­other three years for false im­pris­on­ment; and the bal­ance of an ear­lier reck­less en­dan­ger­ment sentence, three and a half years, for vi­o­lat­ing the terms of his pro­ba­tion.

McGill at­tacked Hill and Roach with a knife May 19, 2016, out­side the home of a mu­tual friend on An­der­son­town Road in Den­ton. Hill and Roach had gone to visit the friend not know­ing McGill would be there, po­lice said.

When Hill and McGill be­gan ar­gu­ing, po­lice said, the home­owner asked them to leave. The ar­gu­ment con­tin­ued out­side, where McGill threw Hill to the ground, bit her nose and dragged her back to the front porch. McGill then re-en­tered the home through a win­dow, while Hill and Roach ran to an­other house to get help.

McGill ran up be­hind the women at the neigh­bor’s house, po­lice said, and punched and stabbed Hill in the neck. Po­lice said McGill chased Roach too, when she yelled at him to stop, and punched, hit and stabbed her in the hand.

McGill then ran off, and Hill col­lapsed, bleed­ing heav­ily from the neck and head.

Hill, 33, of Greens­boro, and Roach, 53, of Cam­den, Del., at­tended the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing and gave vic­tim im­pact state­ments.

Roach said she re­mem­bers ev­ery day the sight of Hill, ly­ing on the porch, blood pour­ing down her neck, say­ing, “I’m go­ing to die.”

“I watched him do what he did to Heather,” Roach said. “He should have to pay. He’s ver y dan­ger­ous.”

Of­fi­cers from the Den­ton Po­lice De­part­ment and Mary­land State Po­lice pro­vided cru­cial ini­tial treat­ment to Hill that night at the scene. She was flown to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shock Trauma for treat­ment. De­spite the stab wound to her jugu­lar vein, she sur­vived.

Hill chose to let In­terim Car­o­line County State’s At­tor­ney Joseph Ri­ley read her vic­tim im­pact state­ment.

In it, she said she has med­i­cal ex­penses to pay for her treat­ment, bad scars on her face and neck, loss of use of her right thumb and suf­fers from PTSD, night­mares and a lack of abil­ity to trust any­one.

“I’m afraid if he gets out, he’s go­ing to come after me,” Hill said.

Hill said she needs to be pro­tected from McGill.

“Make sure this doesn’t hap­pen again to me or to any other woman,” Hill wrote.

Ri­ley asked for a life sentence for McGill, cit­ing his his­tory of do­mes­tic abuse, not just with Hill, but in an ear­lier re­la­tion­ship with a woman in Delaware.

In 2014, Ri­ley said, McGill broke Hill’s arm, but Hill did not want to pros­e­cute. In­stead, she blamed her­self for mak­ing him so an­gry. The state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice con­vinced her to pur­sue a lesser charge of reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, for which McGill was con­victed and given five years of pro­ba­tion.

Hill got a pro­tec­tive or­der, Ri­ley said, which McGill vi­o­lated mul­ti­ple times by call­ing her.

Ri­ley said the de­fense might try to ar­gue McGill did not de­serve a life sentence be­cause Hill sur­vived, but that was no thanks to McGill, who ran and hid, and later claimed he was the vic­tim.

Fol­low­ing the sen­tenc­ing, Ri­ley re­leased a state­ment, call­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence a scourge on the com­mu­nity, state, coun­try and so­ci­ety in gen­eral.

He said he hopes vic­tims in Car­o­line County take ad­van­tage of re­sources, like St. Martin’s Min­istries in Ridgely, which shel­ters fe­male vic­tims and their chil­dren and also helps women work to­ward their GED or find a job.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is not the vic­tims’ bur­den to bear alone, Ri­ley said.

“This prob­lem will per­sist as long as men and boys treat vi­o­lence as a so­lu­tion to do­mes­tic con­flict,” Ri­ley said. “I hope and pray that we can move more to a so­ci­ety that con­demns all vi­o­lence to­ward women, and it is no longer glo­ri­fied or, per­haps worse, ig­nored.”


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