Man sentenced for beating girlfriend

A Baltimore County judge sentenced a 30-year-old man to a 20-year prison sentence yesterday in the beating of his longtime girlfriend in front of their 10-year-old son.

Circuit Judge James T. Smith Jr. accused Jonathan Arnold Hohn of having "vented everything you had on somebody who was close to you, who at some point probably loved you and was very vulnerable."


Hohn and the victim, Jennifer Lynn Morcek, had lived together for 13 years before she left him.

In a non-jury trial Feb. 8, Judge Smith convicted Hohn on nine charges, including second-degree attempted murder, burglary, resisting arrest and kidnapping in the attack last Sept. 12 on Ms. Morcek.


Ms. Morcek was staying at the home of a girlfriend on Rambo Court in Lansdowne when Hohn broke in and dragged her by the hair to his car. As their son watched, Hohn beat her head against the vehicle and the curb, saying he would kill her if she didn't take him back, said Assistant State's Attorney Sandy Williams.

The boy ran to the home of a neighbor, who called police.

Ms. Morcek was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment. She has recovered from head injuries.

Ms. Williams said the boy wanted to testify to help his mother. She said she hopes "he will grow up realizing that men don't do this to women -- and if they do, they get punished."

The September attack was the third by Hohn on Ms. Morcek, with whom he had two children, the prosecutor said. In August, he violated a court order to stay away from her by breaking into her home and cutting her telephone line. Less than a week after that, he dragged her by the hair, hit her with a hammer, put a knife to her throat and choked her, Ms. Williams said.

Hohn worked 8 1/2 years as a supervisor for the Baltimore Housing Authority before losing his job, and he turned to drugs and alcohol, according to Assistant Public Defender Donald Zaremba, who said Hohn had "a death wish."

"I didn't go out that night with the intention to do any harm to Jennifer," Hohn told the judge. He apologized to Ms. Morcek as she sat in the courtroom, biting her thumb. After the sentencing, he glared at her.

Ms. Morcek didn't speak in court but afterward expressed relief, saying she had decided to go forward with charges against Hohn after reading newspaper accounts about stalking and domestic violence.