Sabattus man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

AUBURN — A Sabattus man charged in connection with a stabbing pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder Tuesday.

Leein Hinkley, 30, has been held at Androscoggin County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail since his arrest in February.

A judge asked Hinkley's attorney, James Howaniec, whether he wanted to argue for a change in bail. Howaniec said he likely would file a motion for different bail, but may be petitioning for a psychological evaluation of his client first. The judge said bail would stay the same.

Howaniec also asked that he be given 60 days to file motions, an extension of the normal amount of time. A trial date was not set.

Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Worden asked that conditions of bail include additional people that Hinkley is barred from contacting directly or indirectly.

In addition to stabbing victims Jennifer Alexander and John Clark, Hinkley is prohibited from having contact with four other family members, Justice Thomas Warren said.

Police said in court documents that Clark was at home in Lisbon when he heard shouting coming from his driveway. When he went outside to investigate, he saw a man punching a woman as they sat in a small gray car in Clark's driveway.

Clark approached the car and asked the woman, Alexander, if she needed help. Hinkley had threatened to kill her and had stabbed her several times, police said. As Clark tried to free Alexander from her seat belt, Hinkley stabbed him in the shoulder, police said.

After Alexander got out of the car, Hinkley fled the scene in it and drove to his parents' house with his and Alexander's 14-month-old son, Maxwell, in the back seat, police said.

At the Hinkley home, Leein Hinkley had taken a shotgun into the woods. He later was taken into custody without incident.

He was indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on one count of attempted murder, one count of elevated aggravated assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He faces up to 75 years in prison, if convicted on all counts.

His family told police he had been suicidal. In an ambulance and in the hospital, Hinkley appeared to be shaking as though he was stricken by a seizure. Howaniec, who represented Hinkley at his initial appearance in 8th District Court in Lewiston in February, said he has "significant state of mind issues," as well as a history of epilepsy.

Hinkley's criminal history includes convictions for assault and burglary.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Leein Hinkley appears at Androscoggin County Superior Court entering a not guilty plea to the charge of attempted murder on Tuesday.

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Leein Hinkley appears at Androscoggin County Superior Court with his attorney James Howaniec left, entering a not guilty plea to the charge of attempted murder on Tuesday.

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JAMES LAWRENCE's picture

lock him up

This could be the exact same case scenario as the recent dexter maine tragity if this animal is let back into society. Why should his ex girlfriend have to live the rest of her life in fear. he should be locked up for 75 years if not life! he has a violent history and being locked up for 2 years before did not seem to send the message to this guy. he is addicted to theft,violence,drugs, and various other crimes why do we need more of this in this area? I mean need I say more hopefully the justice system works this time.

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