Man indicted in prison stabbing


LEWISTON – Convicted killer Brandon Thongsavanh was indicted this week on a charge of stabbing another inmate at the state prison in Warren.

The 23-year-old Lewiston man was charged with aggravated assault by the Knox County grand jury and accused of stabbing another inmate in the chest and leg with a homemade knife.

The victim, who has not been identified, survived his wounds.

Prosecutors say Thongsavanh, who stabbed to death a Bates College student in 2002, had help from another inmate in the prison attack.

Investigators reviewed footage from video surveillance cameras and spoke with other prisoners as charges against Thongsavanh were being considered. They claim Thongsavanh attacked the victim with a makeshift knife while another prisoner stood as a lookout.

Thongsavanh is serving a 58-year prison sentence for the March 2002 stabbing death of Bates College senior Morgan McDuffee. In that attack, which happened during a street fight on Main Street in Lewiston, McDuffee was stabbed five times, including once in the heart, prosecutors said.

Thongsavanh’s lawyers are appealing the prison sentence, which was handed down after he was tried for a second time on the murder charge.

For roughly a year, while awaiting retrial, Thongsavanh was sent to a prison in Arizona as part of a prisoner exchange deal. Jail officials in Maine said that while he was being held in Arizona, Thongsavanh was an enforcer for a group of inmates and was involved in an incident during which another prisoner’s throat was slashed.

In the latest incident in Warren, investigators said they were told that Thongsavanh lured another prisoner to his cell and stabbed him after a dispute. Prison officials did not discuss details of that dispute or what may have led to the attack.

It is unclear how, or if the indictment will affect Thongsavanh’s latest appeal of his sentence. His lawyers have claimed that the jury that convicted him should have been given the option of finding him guilty of criminally negligent manslaughter instead of murder.