States Pleads Guilty In Keyser Stabbing; Could Get 30 Years

“Stephen Clark States mouthed the words “”I’m sorry”” to Richard and Norma Wolfson as he was led out of the courtroom last week, having just pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Norma’s son. States, 59, stabbed Norman Thomas Keyser, 47, several times in the chest with a filet knife on December 14, 2008, after an argument in a Chestertown apartment fueled by alcohol and a love triangle, according to witness statements. Keyser was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died several hours later. His death was ruled a homicide.

States initially was charged with first- and second-degree murder, as well as first- and second-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. During the hearing in circuit court, States pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. In exchange for the guilty plea, State’s Attorney Robert H. Strong Jr. dismissed the remaining charges. As part of the deal, States agreed to pay Keyser’s funeral expenses, estimated to be $7,000. He also is to have no contact with Keyser’s family, which includes his mother and stepfather who live in Still Pond. States faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Until then, he remains jailed in the Kent County Detention Center without bail.