Corrections officials seek motive in stabbing


State corrections officials had a few suspects, but no weapon and no motive yesterday in the stabbing death of a 36-year-old West Baltimore man who was serving a 20-year term on drug charges at the House of Correction in Jessup.

Sgt. Gregory M. Shipley, a Correction Division spokesman, said investigators don't have enough information to file charges in the killing of Maurice Grace, who died about 10:10 p.m. Thursday at Kimbrough ArmyHospital at Fort Meade.

The lockdown imposed after the stabbing was lifted yesterday, but the daily recreation period was canceled as authorities searched for the weapon.

Grace was returning to his living area from the prison gymnasium about 9:15 p.m. Thursday in a crowd of 200 inmates when a correctional officer saw him drop to one knee, then noticed that he was bleeding from his back and chest, Sergeant Shipley said. He was taken to the prison hospital for emergency treatment, then to Kimbrough, a few miles away, by an Anne Arundel Countyambulance crew a half-hour later.

"That's what we usually do with serious stab wounds," Sergeant Shipley said.

Grace, who was sentenced in 1988 to 20 years for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, was stabbed approximately six times in the chest and upper back, the spokesman said.

The attack, which occurred shortly after the gym closed, could have taken place "anywhere in the prison yard outside," Sergeant Shipley said. But none of the correctional officers noticed anything unusual until one saw Grace, who was housed with about 100 other inmates, fall to his knee.

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