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Baltimore man who dumped boiling water on roommate gets 25 years

A Baltimore man with two prior convictions for attempted murder was sentenced to a mandatory 25 years in prison without parole for throwing a pot of boiling water on his roommate at a halfway house.

Donte Frye, 39, was convicted by a jury in June on charges of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment related to the attack April 11, 2013.

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Prosecutors had alleged that Frye, who they said mistakenly believed his roommate had eaten his breakfast sausage, lured the victim to the top of the basement stairs of the home, then tossed a pot of boiling water at him. The victim fell down the stairs and struck his head on a door, and prosecutors said he endured "months" of disfigurement.

Frye's attorney, Stephen Beatty, said in an interview the two men got into a "mutual affray" and prosecutors had overstated the victim's injuries, which he said were "functionally and cosmetically insignificant," citing hospital records. He said he didn't call Frye as a witness because prosecutors would have been able to bring up his criminal record, which otherwise was inadmissible.

At sentencing Monday, Assistant State's Attorney Katie Dorian told Judge Sylvester Cox that Frye did not show remorse for the attack and played recorded jail calls in which Frye can be heard saying boiling water "ain't an actual weapon" and played down the victim's injuries.

Beatty said the calls were taken out of context because Frye was talking about the charges against him.

Dorian said Frye had a history of being a particularly bad roommate — she said he had twice stabbed other roommates; one stabbing led to an attempted-murder conviction in 2004. Frye received eight years in prison for that conviction, records show.

Beatty said he plans to appeal.

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