Malmon to serve 10 years after pleading guilty for trying to kill his wife
by Nesa Nourmohammadi | Staff Writer
Gazette June 15, 2011
In a case he called bizarre, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr. last week sentenced the Brookeville man who tried to kill his wife last summer to 25 years in prison, with all but 10 years suspended.
Stuart Malmon, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted first-degree murder March 4 after shooting at his wife, Jill Malmon, inside their house on Aug. 26.
Upon his release from prison, Malmon will serve five years of supervised probation and follow all recommendations of his ordered psychiatric treatment. He also is forbidden from contacting his estranged wife and her direct family for the rest of his life.
It was the sentence prosecutor Patrick Mays requested.
“It was appropriate,” Mays said after the hearing.
Although Malmon’s defense attorneys, Paul T. Stein and Louis M. Leibowitz, sought more leniency, they said they understood Dugan’s sentence.
“I think the judge took everything into consideration,” Stein said after the hearing. “We hoped for a light sentence because of his health and good behavior. He had a tough decision.”
Malmon’s psychiatric and medical history was at the forefront of the June 8 sentencing hearing. Neurologist and psychiatrist James Merikangas of Bethesda, who spoke on behalf of the defense, showed the court medical scans of Malmon’s brain taken in February and indicated a 9-millimeter lesion on the frontal lobe of Malmon’s brain.
He could not determine whether or not it the lesion was a tumor, he said in court.
The frontal lobe controls decision making and judgment, Merikangas said, but he could not say if the lesion affected Malmon’s judgment or behavior to the point where he would fire a gun at his wife.
Malmon’s scans also showed signs of brain deterioration and loss of brain function, which for Malmon’s age is not out of the ordinary, he said.
Merikangas also revealed Malmon suffered from high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and a palmomental reflex, in which Malmon’s lip begins to twitch when his thumb is stroked, he said.
Malmon also has leukemia and had melanoma and prostate cancer.
Stein said being in jail is not good for someone with a compromised immune system.
Of the roughly 200 convicted murderers Merikangas has examined, Malmon is unlike any other, he said.
“This is probably the most unusual case I’ve ever seen,” Merikangas said while testifying.
“If he had been on a mood stabilizing drug like Lithium, I don’t think this would have happened,” Merikangas said.
When Malmon was 4 and a half years old, his mother died, whlie his son committed suicide during in college, Stein said in court. Since his days as a law student, Malmon has suffered from depression.
The state of Maryland does not consider diminished capacity a criminal defense.
Mays argued Malmon’s actions Aug. 26 were not in line with someone who might have been mentally incapacitated.
“This is someone in complete control of what they’re doing,” he said in court.
Before 9 a.m. Aug. 26, Jill Malmon was sitting at the computer when the monitor exploded, according to the Montgomery County Police report.
Before the monitor exploded, Jill Malmon saw her husband holding a paper bag, which contained a 9-mm handgun, police reported.
Mays said in court Malmon lied about the bag’s contents when Jill Malmon asked.
Jill Malmon checked on the family dog and got her car keys to take the dog to the groomers. As she stood at the storm door to leave the house, she heard another loud explosion and fell to the ground, according to the police report. Her husband was standing behind her, wearing a rubber glove. He calmly asked if she was OK, the police report said.
Realizing her husband had shot at her both times, Jill Malmon stumbled from the house and yelled for her neighbor, who called police, according to the police report.
Stuart Malmon placed the gun on the wheel of a vehicle, according to the report. Police officers arrived shortly after.
In a search of the Malmon residence, police found two shell casings, a handgun, a paper bag and a Latex glove, according to the police report. The glove and the bag were to prevent gunshot residue from getting onto Malmon’s hands, while a towel over the barrel of the gun would have made a make-shift silencer, Mays said in court.
“I lost my ability to trust,” Jill Malmon said in court. “I don’t even trust myself anymore.”
Since entering jail, Malmon has violated a court order and sent letters to his wife through his stepson, asking Jill Malmon not to submit a victim impact statement and stating that once he gets out of jail he would go see her in Florida, where she has resided since the incident, Mays said in court.
Malmon was reprimanded by his attorneys about the letters on more than one occasion, Dugan said.
Jill Malton declined to comment after the hearing.
When Malmon had the chance to apologize to his wife in court, he also apologized to his stepchildren.
“I miss you so much and to hear you’re afraid of me destroys me,” he said to Jill Malmon in court. “I destroyed our marriage and I destroyed the woman I loved. I just miss the life we had down there.”
Malmon’s words did not move Dugan.
“Your behavior is extremely bizarre and out of character,” the judge said. “The only emotion I saw was flat.”
Dugan said he expected Malmon to display emotion as his wife addressed him directly, but noticed Malmon express agitation when Mays argued against him.
“I don’t see an awful lot of remorse from you. I just don’t see it,” Dugan said.