LEWISTON — On Friday, a judge increased the cash bail to $30,000 for a Lewiston man who police said stabbed his ex-girlfriend in the chest outside his apartment Wednesday evening after an argument over her choice in men.

Joshua Blackman, 29, of 87 Bartlett St. had argued with Melissa Degrace 38, who had been visiting Blackman and his roommate and was drinking with them, Detective David Levesque wrote in an affidavit.

Degrace had brought a pocketknife with her, which she told police she had put on a table in the apartment because it had been uncomfortable carrying it.

She and Blackman had been roommates as well as longtime friends and had a sexual relationship in 2010, she told police.

Blackman began to criticize her choice in men she dated. She became angry and slapped him, she said.

She knew Blackman was “over intoxicated” and she “knew from previous incidents of his violent nature,” so she left his apartment and began to walk down Bartlett Street. She could hear Blackman approaching from behind and turned to see that he was carrying the knife she had left in his apartment, she told police.


Her first thought was that he was returning it to her, but then he grabbed her and stabbed her in the right side of her chest, she said.

She didn’t know why he would stab her, she told police from her hospital bed.

Witnesses at his apartment building said Blackman returned, yelling: “I’m going to prison. I think I stabbed her!” Witnesses on the street said they saw Blackman with a knife and he had threatened to stab them with it.

One witness said she saw Blackman grab Degrace and hug her, “but then observed him thrust into her side as in a stabbing motion.”

Police soon had Blackman in custody, though he was “highly uncooperative,” police said.

Degrace was hospitalized at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Police said the stabbing had pierced her right lung. A tube had been put in her chest to help her breath. She was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.


In 8th District Court on Friday, Judge Susan Oram raised Blackman’s bail from $10,000 to $30,000 cash, but also set a $60,000 bail by real estate after defense attorney Donald Hornblower told the judge that Blackman had no cash. Blackman said he planned to apply for a court-appointed attorney.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Reynolds Regan requested $50,000 cash bail, calling Blackman a “ticking time bomb” and a “danger to the community.”

She cited a criminal record of seven convictions dating back to 2002, including domestic violence assault.

Hornblower said Blackman would deny the charges if an Androscoggin County grand jury were to indict him. He has a full-time job at a brickyard and provides for his family. He doesn’t have a history of failing to appear in court, Hornblower said.

Blackman is charged with one count of elevated aggravated assault, a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He also is charged with domestic violence assault and two counts of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, each charge punishable by up to five years in prison.

Orman called the charges a “serious case” and put conditions on his release from jail, including no use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs, no use or possession of dangerous weapons, including knives, and random searches for all of those items and random testing for alcohol or drugs. He also is barred from having contact with any of the victims named in the charges.


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