A man originally charged with attempted murder in an October stabbing in Hagerstown's West End pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser count of second-degree assault.
Defense attorney Ahmet Hisim said in Washington County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning that the Oct. 20 incident occurred during "an evening of much abuse by all parties of various substances. ... Lots of different substances."
Tyler Michael Sirbaugh, 31, who had spent almost eight months in detention, told Judge Brett R. Wilson he was "scared straight" and didn't want to be around drugs or people doing drugs.
"I did not like jail. I would not wish that on anyone," Sirbaugh said.
Sirbaugh was charged with stabbing Kyle Stone, who sustained four cuts on his right arm and seven puncture wounds to his chest and back. Stone needed surgery to repair his wounds, according to the charging document filed against Sirbaugh.
Sirbaugh was charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the Oct. 20 stabbing at a home in the 200 block of Westside Avenue, according to court records.
According to court documents and information in court, Sirbaugh had no fixed address at the time of the incident and was homeless. His two previous addresses were in Hagerstown, according to court records.
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On Tuesday, Sirbaugh pleaded guilty to the second-degree assault charge as part of a deal.
A second-degree assault charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine, whereas an attempted first-degree murder charge can result in up to life in prison, according to court documents.
Wilson sentenced Sirbaugh to five years and 241 days in prison with five years suspended and credit for the 241 days already served. Sirbaugh also is to have supervised probation for 18 months and no contact with the victim.
Hisim had asked for probation before judgement.
Wilson said if Sirbaugh is doing well in six to nine months, a sentence modification request could be heard.
Hisim said he would be filing a motion to modify the sentence.
What happened that evening in October?
Wilson said the incident was a "bit of a melee" that Sirbaugh "carried a little bit further." Even without a weapon, Wilson said Sirbaugh "certainly had size" on his opponent.
Sirbaugh, tall and broad-chested, is listed in charging documents as being 6 feet tall and weighing 280 pounds.
Sirbaugh was a homeless man that Stone let stay at his home for the evening that October, Assistant State's Attorney Chris McCormack told the court.
Stone caught Sirbaugh trying to take money from his wallet and confronted Sirbaugh, McCormack said. There was an argument and a fight began.
Stone began punching Sirbaugh and Stone twice lost his balance, McCormack said. The second time he got up he realized he'd been stabbed.
"Reading between the lines," McCormack said, this may have been a situation where drugs were involved but he wasn't sure if all parties partook.
Hisim said during the fight with Stone, Sirbaugh recalled being punched in the head and used a work knife to try to get Stone to stop.
Hisim said Sirbaugh wants to show he can satisfy any probation conditions.
Sirbaugh "finally realizes he has to get serious about his life," Hisim said.
Talking about his dislike for jail, Sirbaugh told Wilson he doesn't want to be in a position to "do that" to himself, his family or his friends.
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This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Homeless man pleads to assault in attempted murder case in Hagerstown