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Man is sentenced in attack on ex-wife


A 40-year-old Westminster man who admitted attacking his ex-wife with the claw end of a hammer in a New Year's Eve assault in 2002 was sentenced yesterday to 75 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder and 25 years for assaulting a neighbor who tried to stop the attack.

Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Michael M. Galloway suspended 55 years of the 100-year sentence for Anthony Thomas Hughes.

Prosecutors said Hughes would have to serve at least half the sentence before he can request parole.

Hughes pleaded guilty in November to attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and first-degree burglary at the Westminster duplex where his ex-wife then lived, according to court records.

Hughes was originally sentenced in January 2004 for the assault on Ellen M. Redifer outside her home in the 1400 block of Pleasant Valley Road, but the conviction was reversed.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that now-retired Carroll Circuit Court Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. neglected to include the standard information to Hughes that if he chose trial by jury it would require "a unanimous verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt," court records show.

The appeals court sent the case back to Carroll County last year for a new trial.

Hughes, whose last known address was the first block of Carroll St., was on parole for armed robbery at the time of the assault. He was returned to the Carroll County Detention Center from state prison after the appeals court ruling, officials said.

According to court testimony, Hughes and Redifer were married from 1983 to 1992 and had two children. On New Year's Eve 2002, Hughes broke into Redifer's home and chased her, their then-17-year-old daughter and the girl's boyfriend into the street.

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