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Man Facing Murder Charge Stabs Self In Heart With Ball-Point Pen

January 31, 1988

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A man plunged a ball-point pen into his heart while jailed on a charge of murdering his attorney, then apologized for failing to kill himself, authorities said.

Roger Maynard, 72, was in critical but stable condition Sunday. Authorities said he may have intentionally fallen on the pen in order to drive all but an inch of its 6-inch length into his chest.

Heart surgeon Meredith Scott, who removed the pen Saturday after two hours of surgery, said it penetrated 3 1/2 inches into his heart. ″He really meant to do some damage,″ Scott said.

Maynard missed major valves and arteries in his heart by 0.2 of an inch, Scott said. The man was under guard in a hospital and was expected to remain there at least 10 days.

Maynard had told several people he wanted to kill himself, so jail officials initially placed him on a suicide watch, checking him every 15 minutes.

Capt. Jay Leman, jail administrator, said Maynard was not allowed any objects with which he might hurt himself with during his first 10 days in jail.

But a psychologist talked with him Jan. 22 and ordered his security level lowered, allowing Maynard to have a uniform and a pen, authorities said. The psychologist was not identified.

Jail officials said guards noticed that something appeared to be wrong with the man Saturday morning, but they didn’t see the pen sticking from his chest because of his shirt.

Maynard asked for a nurse, showed the nurse the pen and said, ″Unfortunately , I missed the heart,″ a sheriff’s report said.

Maynard was in jail awaiting arraignment on a first-degree murder charge in the Jan. 12 shooting of lawyer Murray Lee Gay Jr.

Maynard told witnesses that he had been unhappy with Gay’s handling of a medical malpractice case involving Maynard’s wife, police said.

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