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Man, 25, admits he tried to kill a grandmother, 62 WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills


A 25-year-old Crofton man who beat a 62-year-old woman working to make extra money to buy Christmas gifts for grandchildren and left her for dead pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted murder.

Shawn T. McDonnell of the 1700 block of Greentree Court also pleaded guilty to armed robbery and breaking and entering at the TCBY yogurt shop in the 2200 block of Defense Highway in Crofton.

He faces a life term when he is sentenced next month by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said the victim, Donna Wiley, was getting ready to open the shop shortly before 10 a.m. Nov. 8 when McDonnell knocked on the door.

Mr. Paone said the woman let McDonnell inside because his girlfriend worked there and she knew him. He asked to use the telephone and followed her to a back room, where he began beating her, first with his fists, and then with a rock that he had brought with him.

Mr. Paone yesterday introduced into evidence the bloodied, baseball-size rock, noting that one of the victim's gray hairs was still embedded in it. He said Mrs. Wiley fought back, but eventually collapsed on the floor and "played dead" so McDonnell would leave her alone.

McDonnell took the money from a storage area. When he fled, Mrs. Wiley crawled to a telephone, "covered head to toe with blood," Mr. Paone said, to call police.

Mr. Paone said Mrs. Wiley had been so bloodied that she couldn't see the telephone, but used her sense of touch to dial 911.

Mrs. Wiley, who suffered a concussion and broken bones in her face, was flown by state police helicopter to Prince George's County General Hospital and Medical Center, where she was treated for multiple head wounds and 15 cuts on her arms and hands. Her injuries required 100 stitches, Mr. Paone said.

McDonnell, who was addicted to cocaine, was arrested by police two days later while trying to break into a house in Baltimore, Mr. Paone said.

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