- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A judge ordered this week that a Mechanicsville man remain in jail without bond after grand jurors indicted him on a charge of attempted murder following an alleged confrontation last month with a former girlfriend, who was stabbed multiple times outside a school.
Grand jurors also charged Joseph Francis Berry, 49, with armed carjacking and a first-degree assault on Cynthia Annette Woodland.
St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney John Pleisse said in court this week that Berry was not entitled to pretrial release on the “extremely serious charges of a violent nature,” and that Berry has previous convictions for burglary and second-degree rape.
Woodland was leaving a PNC Bank branch in Leonardtown on July 22 when Berry got into her Ford Focus and told her to drive up the road, according to initial district court charging papers, until they reached the parking lot of Banneker Elementary School.
Woodland was trying to run away when Berry caught her and cut her chin, chest, hand and arms, according to a charges application filed by sheriff’s deputy Elizabeth Croyle. Berry drove away in the car, charging papers allege, and detectives reported he was arrested the next day in Prince George’s County.
The woman was treated at a hospital for her injuries, investigators said after the incident.
Public defender Sarah Elkins, Berry’s lawyer at this week’s arraignment, said in court that he was living with his parents and worked for a construction firm in Brandywine.