By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
A Frederick County man must serve prison time for severely injuring his father after an argument last year.
Joseph Richard Bleck, 18, of 100 Sycamore Place, Cross Junction, pleaded guilty Friday in Frederick County Circuit Court to a charge of unlawful wounding. Authorities had charged Bleck with malicious wounding for the June 13 attack that left his father bleeding and semi-conscious.
Bleck entered an "Alford plea" of guilty to the charge by which he maintains his innocence but does not wish to risk a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
Retired Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Bleck to five years in prison.
Under the terms of the agreement, the judge suspended three years and four months of the term. Bleck also must pay $35,797 in restitution to to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's federal worker program for the victim's medical expenses.
The judge dismissed the defendant's remaining misdemeanor charge of assault and battery, per the agreement.
Bleck struck his father, Richard A. Bleck, five times in the face after an argument over a job interview the victim wanted the defendant to attend, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis McLoughlin Jr.
Deputies with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office arrived at the Bleck home to find the semi-conscious victim upstairs, his face covered in blood, McLoughlin said.
The victim spent two weeks in the hospital undergoing treatment including facial surgery to repair a shattered eye socket.
The victim has fully recovered from his injuries, McLoughlin said.
Bleck was 17 years old when the fight occurred June 13.
The defendant's attorney, J. Michael Solak, agreed with the prosecutor's recitation of the evidence had the case gone to trial.
McLoughlin noted that the defendant had been dealing with mental health issues over the past six to seven months while incarcerated awaiting trial. Solak told the judge his client was on medication. The matter of the defendant's mental illnesses came up last summer when he first appeared in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.