Man pleads guilty to attacking wife and her lover


A Middle River man pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that he attacked his estranged wife and her lover at their Jessup apartment in September.

Anthony Robert Monaco, 56, entered the plea agreement on charges of assault with intent to maim and battery before Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. in Howard Circuit Court.

Mr. Monaco pushed and punched his estranged wife and stabbed her lover in his back, neck, chest and groin with a paring knife at Maple Village Park in the early morning hours of Sept. 24.

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Reese told Judge Sybert that the estranged wife's lover, 39-year-old Stafford Moran Jr., was leaving their apartment to buy coffee when he was confronted by Mr. Monaco.

Mr. Moran told police he ran when he noticed that Mr. Monaco was carrying a shotgun, Ms. Reese said. Mr. Monaco fired two shots, but neither hit Mr. Moran.

While running, Mr. Moran fell and the two men began wrestling on the ground, Mr. Moran said. During the fight, Mr. Monaco pulled out a knife with a two-inch blade and began stabbing Mr. Moran, who was left along the roadway.

Mr. Monaco then went to his estranged wife's apartment and forced his way inside, Ms. Reese said. The defendant pushed the woman, Linda Monaco, 45, onto a bed and repeatedly struck her in her face.

Police recovered the knife and shotgun near the scene of the incident, Ms. Reese said. Mr. Monaco turned himself in to the police several hours later.

Mrs. Monaco told police that she and her husband separated after she told him she was having an affair, the prosecutor said. She said her husband and Mr. Moran were once co-workers and longtime friends.

The woman also reported that Mr. Monaco threatened to kill her and Mr. Moran when they talked on the telephone five days before the incident, Ms. Reese said.

Attorneys for Mr. Monaco did not make any statements during yesterday's proceedings.

Mr. Monaco, of the 300 block of Endsleigh Road, will be sentenced on May 13, pending a report by the county Parole and Probation Office. He has no prior criminal convictions.

Ms. Reese said she will ask the court to sentence Mr. Monaco to 10 years in prison, with all but three years of the term suspended, for the assault with intent to maim charge. The prosecutor said she will seek an additional six-month sentence for the battery count.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison for the two charges.

Mr. Monaco, who works at the Baltimore Asphalt Paving Co., will be permitted to back out of the plea agreement if Judge Sybert sentences him beyond the prosecution's recommendation.

The prosecution will drop additional charges of assault with intent to murder, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, assault and battery after the sentencing.

The defendant will remain free on $50,000 bond until the sentencing hearing.

He has been ordered to avoid contact with the victims.

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