Lisa Deprez’s boyfriend has been charged with murder.

PORTLAND (AP) – A Portland man on Monday was charged Monday with murder after his girlfriend died from severe injuries police say he caused.

Gregory Erskine, 50, was arrested last week after police chased him from the apartment Lisa Deprez, 42. He had been arrested less than a week earlier for threatening to kill her with a knife.

Portland Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he was released with the condition of not contacting her.

Deprez was beaten so badly that rescue workers who first treated her thought that she had died, police said. Emergency medical technicians managed to resuscitate her en route to Maine Medical Center.

Deprez died Sunday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said. An autopsy was performed Monday but no results were released.

Erskine and Deprez previously lived in Westbrook, where police dealt with Erskine 23 times between November 2000 and this February, mostly when they were called to calm arguments between the two.

Deprez’ death came one week after new crime statistics revealed a jump in domestic violence in Maine. Eight of the 17 murders in 2003 were classified as domestic-related and reports of domestic violence rose by 11.4 percent.

Like many women who are killed in domestic incidents, Deprez had no apparent contact with advocacy groups that serve victims of domestic violence.

“I was frustrated that we had never heard hide nor hair of her,” said Lois Galgay Reckitt, director of the Family Crisis Center.

She said some victims don’t call crisis lines because they don’t want to label themselves as battered women.

“They need to think about the fact that what we’re really offering is not services for battered women. We’re offering help with safety plans,” Reckitt said.

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stoke said Deprez’ killing was the second this year in Maine attributed to domestic violence. The first was the death in April of Michael MacDonald, 57, whose son was charged with his murder.

AP-ES-05-17-04 1649EDT



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