By Mary Grace Keller

A Frederick County judge on Thursday sentenced a Monrovia man to 15 years in prison for strangling a woman and threatening her with a knife.

Circuit Court Judge Scott Rolle sentenced Everett Leroy Barton Jr., 61, to 25 years with all but 15 years suspended in the Division of Corrections, according to the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office. Upon his release, Barton must serve five years of supervised probation to include GPS monitoring. A jury found him guilty of first- and second-degree assault June 3.

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a Monrovia residence at about 11 p.m. April 19, 2020, and learned Barton attacked the woman after an argument. The state’s attorney’s office said he grabbed the woman’s arms, strangled her and punched two holes through a wall on either side of her head while holding her neck, causing injury. When a relative intervened, Barton went upstairs, got a kitchen knife and threatened the woman, according to the news release.

“Strangulation is a terrifying form of abuse and strongly linked to future risk of intimate partner homicide,” State’s Attorney Charlie Smith wrote in an email. “Offenders that prey on those more vulnerable are the worst, and should receive these harsher penalties.”

For Barton’s crimes, the state sought a sentence of 10 years in prison. Maryland sentencing guidelines recommended two to seven years for this particular defendant, SAO spokesman Will Cockey wrote in an email.

Barton’s attorney, public defender Matthew Frawley, asked for a sentence equivalent to time served (430 days) and suggested that his client would be willing to waive credit for an 18-month local sentence with work release.

“We are very disappointed that Judge Rolle chose to stray so far from the sentencing guidelines,” Frawley wrote in an email. “We have identified several areas that we believe are ripe for appeal and we will be filing an appeal shortly.”

Smith said Barton showed no remorse.

“The State and the Victim asked the Court for a sentence that would give her justice and protection and the Court did just that,” Smith wrote.

In handing down the sentence, Rolle cited “protecting the victim” and “the facts” of the case, according to Cockey.

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