By The Law Offices of David Benowitz on November 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Permalink
A Hagerstown woman faces up to 23 years in prison for a “bizarre” break-in at a stranger’s home last February. According to her Maryland criminal attorney, thirty-three-year-old Melissa Wagaman was convicted on November 4th of second-degree assault, fourth-degree burglary and two counts of reckless endangerment in Washington County Circuit Court.
Wagaman admits to consuming both an unspecified cold medicine as well as a “puff” of marijuana on the night of the incident, before she broke into the home of Erin and Aaron Parrott wearing a bridal garment that covered only her lower half and a veil. The defendant, who also testified that she suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and was sleep deprived, told the court that she approached the Stone Valley Circle home believing that her mother was inside.
Just before 9:30 p.m., Wagaman knocked on the Parrott’s door. Covering her bare upper half, she told Parrott that her mother was in the basement and she needed to get in. Parrott woke her husband, who came downstairs and told Wagaman to leave. Aaron Parrott testified that he then obtained a snow shovel from the rear of the house and locked the door. Wagaman is said to have continued banging on the door before smashing her head through the dining room window in an attempt to gain entry to the Parrott’s home. To prevent her from entering, Parrott says, he hit her “as hard as (he) could” with the shovel, sustaining four inch long arterial wounds that required a three-night long hospital stay.
When police arrived, Wagaman was found laying unconscious in the snow outside the home. Law enforcement officials testified that blood was found throughout the house, indicating that Wagaman had entered the home after the Parrotts fled to a neighbor’s house to wait for an ambulance. Hospital staff that later examined the defendant concluded that she was exhibiting symptoms of drug induced psychosis.
Wagaman’s Washington County criminal lawyer argued that his client did not intend to harm the couple and truly believed her mother was inside the home when she attempted to force her way in. The jury deliberated for 10 minutes before convicting Wagaman on the assortment of charges. Washington County Circuit Court Judge Donald Beachley deferred sentencing in the case for a month.
This article is presented by The Law Office of David Benowitz, serving Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. For more information, please visit our DC Criminal Laywer and Virginia Criminal Lawyers websites.