Attempted Murder Nets 16-Year Sentence

Attempted Murder Nets 16-Year Sentence

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City woman, who pleaded guilty in October to attempted second-degree murder after a stabbing incident in a resort residence in May, was sentenced last week to 30 years in jail, all but 16 years of which was suspended.

Around 3:50 a.m. on May 9, Ocean City Police and paramedics responded to a residence on Robin Drive for a reported stabbing incident. OCPD officers arrived on the scene and located a victim who had obvious injuries to her neck and shoulders. During the investigation, police learned the victim, whose name was not released, had been in a verbal argument with the suspect, later identified as Sharon Lee Ward, 47, of Ocean City.

During the argument and ensuing struggle, Ward attacked the victim with a kitchen knife, stabbing her multiple times in the neck. The victim was able to flee the unit, and with the assistance of neighbors, was able to contact police. The victim was treated by Ocean City paramedics for stab wounds to the neck and was later transported to PRMC for treatment. Ward was also treated at the scene for minor injuries and was transported to AGH where she was later released to the OCPD.

The investigation revealed the victim and Ward were living together and that there was a Maryland Court Final Protective Order on file prohibiting Ward from having any contact with the victim. Ocean City Police recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the attack at the crime scene.

Ward was arrested and charged initially with first- and second-degree assault, use of a weapon with intent to injure, reckless endangerment and violation of a protective order. Charges of attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder were later added. In October, Ward pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

According to the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, the maximum penalty for the second-degree attempted murder conviction is 30 years. However, the guidelines computed by the state were in a range of 12 to 20 years. Ward’s attorneys claimed the sentencing guidelines were in the range of nine to 14 years, which is part of the reason for the pre-sentence investigation.

Back in court last Friday for sentencing, Ward was sentenced to 30 years in jail with 14 years suspended, leaving her with a 16-year sentence. Ward must serve at least half of the sentence before being considered eligible for parole. She was also placed on supervised probation for five years upon her release.