A 22-year-old farmhand, who hit his boss in the back of the head with a shovel as she leaned over a pig trough at her Baltimore County farm, was convicted yesterday of attempted second-degree murder and attempted first-degree rape.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge John F. Fader II convicted James Andrew Large of the 1700 block of E. Deep Run Road in Manchester after a trial.
Judge Fader ordered a presentence investigation, including a psychiatric evaluation of Large, who faces up to life in prison for the attempted rape and up to 30 years on the attempted murder conviction.
The charges stemmed from an attack last Nov. 18, one day after Large's boss rebuffed his attempt to kiss her.
The victim needed 16 stitches to close the wound caused by a pointed, long-handled shovel and didn't know the reasons for the sudden attack, said Assistant State's Attorney Isaiah Dixon III.
During the attack, the 35-year-old victim managed to grab the shovel before Large landed a third blow, said Mr. Dixon. After the attack, Large fled to the state police barracks at Westminster, saying he wanted to surrender for attempted rape.
Yesterday, state police and Baltimore County officers testified that Large told them he didn't plan to kill the woman. He wanted to knock her out and rape her, or "get some," as he told one officer.
Large, married and the father of two young children, testified that he meant to tell police he was depressed and didn't know why he struck the woman, not that he intended to kill or rape her. A high school dropout, Large said he had the police write his statement and said he didn't read it carefully, because he doesn't read or write very well.
In describing the attack, he testified, "Um, I picked up the shovel and hit her over the top of the head. She went down a little bit, then came back. I hit her lighter than the first time, again. Then she turned around," he said. "She grabbed a hold of the shovel. . . . I gave her the shovel and said I was very sorry. I kept saying I was very sorry. I told her she could hit me over the top of my head."
With only Large's contested statement as evidence of attempted rape, the defense argued he was only guilty of battery.
The only other defense witness was Large's father, Donald Wayne Large of Lebanon, Va., a United Methodist minister and the retired director of instruction for Russell County, Va. Mr. Large said his son left home five years ago.