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Prison for man who stabbed friend at Jackson Twp. business

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • Edgar Farrell III's attorney said her client was psychotic at the time of the attack.
  • He and victim Matthew Wickham were friends and co-workers, police have said.

A York City man must go to state prison for attacking his friend with a shiv inside the Jackson Township manufacturing plant where they both worked in 2014.

Edgar Farrell III

Edgar J. Farrell III, 23, formerly of West Princess Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday in York County Court to aggravated assault and, as part of a negotiated plea agreement, was sentenced to 3½ to seven years in prison, with credit for the prison time he's already served.

He has been locked up on $400,000 bail since Oct. 9, 2014, the day of the assault.

Farrell and Matthew Wickham initially appeared to be wrestling on the job at the Church & Dwight Co. plant, 5197 Commerce Drive, but Farrell then stabbed and slashed at his then-friend with a 6-inch chrome shiv, also called a shank, Northern York County Regional Police have said.

Wickham, who was 25 at the time, suffered four to six stab wounds to his back, two cuts to his throat and a slice on his scalp, court documents state.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, according to Farrell's attorney, public defender Clasina Houtman.

In exchange for his plea, a charge of attempted homicide was dropped.

Mental-health issues: Senior deputy prosecutor Duane Ramseur declined to comment about the case after Wednesday's hearing.

"There's no question it was mental-health related," Houtman said, adding her client at the time was suffering from serious mental-health issues and was psychotic.

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The stab wounds didn't damage any internal organs or structures, she confirmed.

When officers arrived, co-workers had already separated the two men, and Wickham told officers he didn't know why Farrell stabbed him, police said at the time.

Fellow employees said the two men were friends and that they assumed the tussle they were witnessing "was mere horseplay between friends," according to court documents.

Houtman said Farrell is receiving treatment and is doing better.

The Church & Dwight Co. plant makes products sold under brand names including Arm & Hammer and OxiClean, according to its website.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.