- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A Hagerstown man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a teenager in the downtown business district last October.

Twenty-one-year-old Shakeem Miles was convicted in Washington County Circuit Court after entering an Alford plea Thursday in the slaying of 18-year-old Jalonte Thomas-Leach. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgement that prosecutors have enough evidence to gain a conviction.

In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped other charges, including first-degree murder.

Sentencing is set for May 14.

Police say Thomas-Leach was stabbed during a large melee early on a Sunday morning that began as fight among a group of women. They say Miles stabbed Thomas-Leach after the younger man apparently refused to fight him.

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