Karen Harrelson
Karen Harrelson

A York County couple accused of stabbing each other while arguing over the singing prowess of two "American Idol" contestants are moving on to the next round -- York County Court -- but with one less strike against each of them.

Karen Elaine Harrelson and Gregory L. Stambaugh attended preliminary hearings Monday before District Judge Keith Albright, where Stambaugh's defense attorney tried to broach the subject of changing the couple's bail conditions.

Harrelson and Stambaugh are free on bail, but their bail conditions forbid them from having contact with each other.

"Funny you should bring up the bail-modification issue," Albright interjected. "The court has information ... that there may have been a violation of the no-contact order.

Gregory Stambaugh
Gregory Stambaugh
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Albright said he had been told Harrelson and Stambaugh recently visited Ocean City, Md., together. He denied the defendants' requests for bail modification.

Beach trip? Senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake told The York Dispatch he was informed of the alleged beach trip just prior to Monday's proceedings by Detective Sgt. Jeff Snell of West Manchester Township Police.

Snell said his department received the information from a third party.

Neither Harrelson nor Stambaugh addressed the allegation. Their attorneys later declined comment.

Also at Monday's hearings, Blake withdrew felony aggravated assault charges against both defendants, who then agreed to waive their rights to a preliminary hearing on their remaining charges.


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The aggravated assault charges were dropped because the couple suffered only superficial injuries during the fight, Blake said.

Because they no longer face felony charges, Harrelson and Stambaugh -- if convicted -- now face significantly less time in prison, if any.

Harrelson, 48, no address available, and Stambaugh, 57, of 2040 Lycan Drive in West Manchester Township, remain charged with counts of simple assault, a misdemeanor. Albright set their formal court arraignments for Aug. 16.

Two versions: "American Idol" contestants weren't the only thing the couple couldn't agree on the night of May 15, according to court documents.

Township officers called to Stambaugh's home for a domestic dispute about 9:15 p.m. found the couple bloody and agitated, police said.

Harrelson told officers Stambaugh attacked her, but Stambaugh insisted Harrelson was the aggressor, according to documents. Both told officers they merely defended themselves.

Stambaugh told officers they were both drunk, but Harrelson maintained that although she was drinking she wasn't intoxicated, documents state.

Harrelson suffered cuts on the top of her wrist and her fingers; Stambaugh suffered a puncture wound to his forearm, according to documents.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.