Crime scene tape

ELKTON — A man remained jailed on Tuesday after he allegedly stabbed a fellow guest at an Elkton motel over the weekend during a dispute regarding money that the suspect purportedly owed the victim, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Investigators identified the suspect as Malachi C. Smith, 23, of the 200 block of Little New York Road near Rising Sun. Officers arrested Smith shortly after the incident, police reported.

Elkton Police Department officers, along with paramedics, rushed to the Sunrise Inn in the 200 block of Belle Hill Road at approximately 2:10 a.m. on Sunday, after receiving a complaint concerning a stabbing, police said. Officers found the stabbing victim inside Room 223, where he and his fiance had been staying, police added.

“They observed a one-inch wide puncture wound under his left shoulder blade in the area of his ribs. (The wounded man) appeared to have difficulty breathing as a result of the injury,” according to charging documents.

An ambulance crew transported the man to Christiana Hospital in Delaware “due to the severity” of his wound, court records show.

During a police interview at that hospital later that day, the man told investigators that Smith stabbed him while they were together in Room 443 of the Sunrise Inn, where Smith also had been staying, according to court records.

“(The wounded man) advised the incident was over a money debt that (Smith) was not willing to pay and as a result (Smith) stabbed him,” court records allege.

Investigators were able to easily recover the knife purportedly used in the stabbing because it still was stuck in the wounded man when he left Room 443, where the stabbing occurred, and made his way back to Room 223, where he was staying, police reported.

“After he had been stabbed, he walked to his room and, at some point, removed the knife from his back. While officers were on scene, they were informed (the wounded man) had possession of the knife (that) was used by the suspect to stab him. The knife was a black in color folding knife, saturated with blood, and the width of the puncture wound was consistent with the size of the knife blade located in the room,” EPD Det. Josh Leffew outlines in his written statement of probable cause contained in court records.

During a police interview, which occurred at EPD’s headquarters at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, some five and a half hours after the incident, Smith admitted that he stabbed the man – but then maintained that he did so in self-defense, according to court records.

Smith is charged with first-degree assault, which is a felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, if convicted, and second-degree assault, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum 10-year sentence, court records show.

As of Tuesday, Smith remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond, according to court records.

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