AUBURN — A local man pleaded guilty Tuesday to elevated aggravated assault in a December stabbing in which a Poland man was seriously injured.
Linwood Edwards, 20, of 315 Turner St. was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended. After his release, he will be on probation for four years, an Androscoggin County Superior Court judge said.
Edwards was ordered to pay $4,636.80 in restitution to the victim or the fund that helped cover the victim's expenses.
Edwards will start serving his sentence after completing a 20-month sentence for violating his probation on a sentence for felony burglary. He started serving that sentence last spring.
The Class A crime of elevated aggravated assault is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, Justice MaryGay Kennedy told Edwards.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis said Tuesday that on Dec. 1, Christopher Coolidge was at a trailer park in Poland where he met Ryan Carter for a fight. Coolidge knocked out Carter, Matulis said.
Two people jumped Coolidge from behind, pushed him to the ground, and kicked and punched him. Edwards stabbed Coolidge several times in the back.
Coolidge was treated at a hospital for a collapsed lung that was filled with blood and for spinal injuries, Matulis said. Nerve damage prevents Coolidge from walking without having to drag one of his legs, Matulis said. Coolidge was in the courtroom Tuesday to watch the proceedings.
A witness said Edwards showed him before the fight a knife that matched the weapon used to stab Coolidge. Edwards told Coolidge afterward as they fled the scene that he had "stuck him," referring to Coolidge, Matulis said.
The witness, Zacheriah Laurinaitis, told authorities where Edwards had thrown the knife. Police later recovered it along Route 11 in Poland.
Carter would have testified that Coolidge had written on his Facebook wall a day earlier that he wanted "blood on his hands," Matulis said.
At a second interview with a detective, Edwards admitted stabbing Coolidge but said he thought the man was going for a knife, Matulis said.
Edwards didn't have a history of committing violent crimes, Matulis said.
"The defendant made a terrible decision to bring a knife with him on that day," Matulis said.
Edward Rabasco Jr., Edwards' attorney, said his client had a "reasonable" defense of a third party after seeing his friend knocked unconscious.
"We believe a jury could find him guilty" based on the evidence prosecutors planned to bring to trial, Rabasco said.
While on probation, Edwards will be barred from having any contact with Coolidge or Laurinaitis and from having or using drugs or alcohol or dangerous weapons.