AUBURN — A judge sent jurors home Thursday, after more than four hours of deliberation in a 2014 Poland stabbing case.

Both attorneys told an Androscoggin County Superior Court jury of six men and six women, after all of the witnesses had testified, that the only firsthand accounts of the stabbing were from the defendant, Phillip Audet, 30, and his uncle, the victim, Steven Narbonne. And both were drunk at the time.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Bogue said Audet “gutted” his uncle.

She said Narbonne suffered a foot-long knife wound in his side, inflicted with such force that it cut a rib.

“This is an intentional injury,” she said.

That’s important, because it elevates the crime to a Class A charge, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Audet’s attorney, Henry Griffin, said in closing arguments Thursday that his client acted in self-defense when Narbonne attacked him in his Torrey Road home in Poland where Audet had been staying. Griffin said his client appeared to have greater recall of the events of the night of July 6 than Audet’s uncle, who also testified.

Griffin told the jury that the notion his client acted with intent or knowingly was “ridiculous.”

He said Audet had turned over a refrigerator to block the path of his uncle who was attacking him. After his uncle threatened to kill him, he fled, Griffin said.

Bogue said Audet testified that he fled the scene in his uncle’s car because his uncle was going to get a gun. Bogue said Audet’s mention of a gun in his testimony was the first anyone connected to the case had heard about a firearm.

“He took that car because he had intentionally stabbed Steve Narbonne,” Bogue said. “He left him there to bleed to death, to go get high, to get away, to run away, to flee from a situation that he had created.”

Griffin said Audet had no idea how seriously injured his uncle was. Had he known, he would have stayed, administered first aid and called 911.

Instead, Narbonne had dragged himself across the road to a neighbor’s home, leaving a trail of blood behind. One of the neighbors happened to come home early that morning to find Narbonne collapsed on the floor; that home’s other residents had gone to bed.

Bogue said Audet behaved like a suspect and not like someone who had been the victim of an attack, as he had testified. Police found him in Portland by tracking his cellphone, then with the aid of police dogs. He was flushed out of woods there, where he had been hiding, she said. On his way to Portland, he had blown the transmission in his uncle’s car and abandoned it on the Maine Turnpike, Bogue said.

Griffin said Audet told police from the beginning that he had acted in self-defense, believing that his only wrongdoing had been taking his uncle’s car. When he learned that his uncle had been seriously injured, he broke down in tears, Griffin said.

Jurors were instructed by the judge to consider five charges against Audet. Jurors had questioned Active-Retired Justice Joyce Wheeler during deliberations about two charges of aggravated assault, Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The jury is expected to resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.