AUBURN — It took a jury more than seven hours to convict Phillip Audet of a felony assault charge in the stabbing of his uncle last year in Poland.

The jury of six men and six women acquitted Audet, 30, of the most serious of the charges from a grand jury indictment, elevated aggravated assault, which carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

On the charge of aggravated assault, Audet faces up to 10 years in prison. He also was found guilty of aggravated criminal mischief, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A third conviction, unauthorized use of property, carries a penalty of up to 364 days in jail.

Jurors appeared to struggle with the difference between two charges of aggravated assault, one alleging Audet caused “serious bodily injury” to his uncle, Steven Narbonne, the other alleging Audet caused “bodily injury” (to Narbonne) with the use of a dangerous weapon, a knife.

The jury sought guidance from Androscoggin County Superior Court Active-Retired Justice Joyce Wheeler, who, after consulting with the opposing lawyer s, instructed the jury to focus on specific clauses in their written jury instructions.

Jurors settled on the former allegation that didn’t reference a weapon, acquitting him of the second aggravated assault charge.

The jury rejected the explanation that Audet had acted in self-defense, despite his testimony on the witness stand during the three-day trial.

Narbonne testified at trial during the prosecution’s presentation of its case.

The jury also rejected the notion that Audet had stabbed Narbonne intentionally and seemed to decide it was a reckless action.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Bogue said the jury appeared to take into account all of the complexities involved in the case, including culpability, competing harms and intoxication.

“Obviously, I’m happy with the result,” she said. “From the verdict, my guess is they felt strongly about the serious bodily injury.”

Narbonne suffered a foot-long knife wound to his side that cut a rib.

Bogue acknowledged the efforts of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police, not only for apprehending Audet, but for responding to Narbonne in time to likely have saved his life.

Had the jury found Audet guilty of both counts of aggravated assault, he would have been sentenced on a single count, she said.

“We could only present the charge as it’s written” in state law, she said.

Audet’s attorney, Henry Griffin, expressed his disappointment with the verdict, despite an acquittal on the most serious charge.

“This is really a tragic incident between two family members who had very strong feelings for each other prior to the incident,” he said. “Both would admit they had far too much to drink.”

Griffin said the jury was able to see that Narbonne’s injury was not an intentional act on Audet’s part.

“No one wanted this to happen. No one intended or knew what they were doing,” he said.

The jury’s finding that Narbonne sustained serious bodily injury was accurate, Griffin said.

“Phillip to this day feels horribly about that,”Griffin said. “But the defense we raised was self-defense and the jury clearly did not believe that’s what occurred. Phillip has accepted that verdict.”

Sentencing was continued. In the meantime, Audet will be held without bail.

The trial stemmed from a July 6 incident at Narbonne’s Torrey Road home in Poland where Audet had been staying. The two men had been drinking since 4 p.m. and continued at a bar until it closed at 1 a.m. They returned to Narbonne’s house, where the stabbing occurred in the kitchen.

Audet fled the home in Narbonne’s car, which he abandoned along the Maine Turnpike in Gray after ruining the transmission.

His whereabouts were traced to a wooded area in Portland through his cellphone. A dog led police to Audet’s hiding place.

Griffin said his client had told police on separate occasions from the start that he had acted in self-defense. He hadn’t known of the extent of his uncle’s injuries and cried when he was told of their seriousness, Griffin told the jury.

Bogue had argued before the jury that Audet hadn’t acted like a man who was afraid of Narbonne. He had behaved as someone who had committed a crime and was avoiding the consequences.

For his part, Narbonne had dragged himself across the road to a neighbor’s home, leaving a trail of blood in his wake, and collapsed on their living room floor. The son of the couple who owned that house found the front door open and entered the home early in the morning and discovered Narbonne’s bloody body.

Narbonne was rushed to a Lewiston hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

Only Audet and Narbonne were in the house where the stabbing occurred and both were intoxicated, both attorneys agreed. For that reason, the credibility of defendant and victim was likely carefully assessed and weighed by the jury.

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