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City man pleads not guilty to murder charge

March 3rd, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports Ralph Richard Faith, 26, of Cumberland made an initial appearance in district court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the January stabbing death of Christopher Wigington. Judge W. Timothy Finan read nine counts against Faith, who is being held on a $1 million bond that includes a second-degree murder charge. Faith is alleged to have used a tactical knife in the attack on Wigington. Finan said the second-degree murder charge in Wigington’s death is a felony that carries a 30-year prison sentence. James Elliott, assistant public defender, represented Faith at the hearing. Faith requested a jury trial. Faith also faces charges related to a second stabbing victim, Tracey Dawn Harris, also known as Tracey Dawn Self, 26, who survived her wounds. Harris was alleged to have been stabbed during the same incident. The events happened  on the morning of Jan. 29 at a residence in the 100 block of East First Street. Cumberland Police responded to the call. Wigington was pronounced dead at the scene. Harris was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Police said the victims, along with numerous witnesses, were at the scene. Police also said they initially received false information given to protect Faith's identity, and were later told Ralph Faith was the assailant. Faith appeared handcuffed in court on Tuesday. He is held at the Allegany County Detention Center. Michael O. Twigg, state’s attorney, represented the prosecution. Finan arranged two dates for motions to be heard in the case. On April 14, a motion will be presented to split the Wigington and Harris cases into separate trials and ask for a change of venue. A June 2 motion hearing was scheduled to discuss DNA evidence and make suppression of statement requests. A motive for the stabbing incidents was not disclosed at Tuesday’s initial appearance. 

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