Joppa man charged with murder when victim dies 2 weeks after assault

Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies have charged a 34-year-old Joppa man with murder Thursday — the same day the victim died from injuries sustained in an assault two weeks earlier.

Donald Ray Cox, 34, faces charges for first- and second-degree murder, in addition to assault charges, after James Roderick Adams, 34, of Edgewood, died of his injuries at University of Maryland Medical Center Thursday.

Police were called Sept. 23. to the intersection of Joppa Farm Road and Haverhill Road in Joppa for an injured person lying on the side of the road. They found Adams, who suffered serious injuries from what appeared to be an assault.

A deputy who had responded to the scene of the assault recognized Adams as a passenger in a vehicle that he had stopped earlier on a traffic violation, which led deputies to Cox, the driver of the vehicle, and connected him to the assault.

Cox has been held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center since his arrest on Sept. 23.

Cox was charged with second-degree assault in October 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years, but served only 11 months and one day. His probation was set to end in November 2012. Before that, Cox served several jail sentences for assault and drug distribution charges.

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