LEWISTON — A judge rejected a bid for lower bail by an Auburn man charged with repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend with a kitchen knife until a neighbor intervened.

Eric Griffey, 44, of 27 Clover Lane appeared in 8th District Court in a blue jail suit, handcuffed, his head bowed throughout the proceeding.

His attorney, James Howaniec, argued that Griffey should be allowed a lower bail so that he could live, pending trial, with his brother, Peter, at his East Avenue home.

Despite the charge of elevated aggravated assault, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, Peter Griffey said the details surrounding the incident were “unprecedented.”

He said, “This just isn’t him. I believe it to be a psychotic break.”

Peter Griffey said his brother would never be unsupervised if allowed to live with his family.

Howaniec said Griffey was “very close” to his parents, who died in the past couple of years. Griffey’s father was a prominent psychiatrist in the community, Howaniec said.

Eric Griffey had no criminal record in the past decade and had no history of violence, Howaniec said.

Megan Parks, Griffey’s ex-wife, said he was “not a violent person; he’s not a danger.” They were married for seven years and have a 14-year-old daughter, Parks said.

Parks, a social worker who often works with domestic violence victims, said: “This is out of character for him.”

She said a psychiatric hospital where Griffey could receive proper mental health care and meet with a psychiatrist daily would be “a much healthier environment” than jail.

Katie Jackson, the mother of Griffey’s 9-year-old son, also attended the courtroom hearing. She said of the incident: “This is a very big surprise.”

Deputy District Attorney James Andrews read aloud details from the police report of the incident, reminding Judge Patrick Ende that the actions recounted in the affidavit paint a different picture from the peaceful father and husband described by the defendant’s family.

“Let’s be perfectly honest, on July 19, he was certainly not” the nonviolent man referred to by his family, Andrews said. He referred to the “sustained period of rage” Griffey apparently experienced that day. A grand jury is likely to indict Griffey on a count of attempted murder, Andrews said.

He noted there was little dispute about the fact that the victim was assaulted; several neighbors witnessed the event and some rushed to the victim’s aid.

Andrews told the judge that a mental examination had been ordered but hadn’t been administered. The results of that exam should give the court a better idea of what psychological issues may be involved in the case, Andrews said.

Howaniec said he had petitioned for a psychiatric examination and may raise as a defense the possibility of Griffey having had an abnormal condition of mind at the time of the incident.

Judge Ende said: “I’m reluctant to mess with bail at this point.” He said he would want to see the results of a psychiatric examination “at the very least,” before considering reducing bail from $250,000 cash.

“Hang in there, Mr. Griffey,” Ende said.

Police said Griffey was apparently angered by the way his girlfriend had been interacting with their son’s baseball coach, a long-simmering matter.

Griffey’s girlfriend, Kellie Cardona, 41, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center with several stab wounds. The couple’s 5-year-old son was home at the time of the attack, police said.

When police arrived at Clover Lane just after 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, they found Griffey being restrained by a neighbor who’d seen the attack.

Witnesses said Cardona and Griffey were covered with blood and that several men had helped tackle him.

Police said one of the neighbors was holding Griffey on the ground when they arrived. Others were attending to Cardona.

The neighbor told police he was in his yard when he saw Cardona running from her home yelling for help. He saw Griffey chasing Cardona while clutching a knife. Cardona fell on the ground and Griffey jumped on top of her, said the neighbor, who grabbed Griffey by the neck and succeeded in pulling him off Cardona.

The neighbor was able to force the knife from Griffey and tossed it toward another neighbor.

That neighbor went to the aid of Cardona.

A third witness said he was in his car when he witnessed the assault and heard Griffey yell: “I’m going to kill the b****!” That witness retrieved the knife and turned it over to police.

Cardona told police she had been with Griffey for about eight years and they own their home jointly. She said there had been no history of domestic violence, but he had taken medication to “control his thoughts.”

Griffey had been drinking and the couple had a heated discussion about the interaction between Cardona and their son’s baseball coach. When Griffey started yelling at Cardona, upsetting their son, she told Griffey to leave.

She said Griffey tackled her in the kitchen, pulled her hair and punched her face several times with his fist. She got to her feet, but he was holding her by her hair, she told police. He slammed her head on the counter and against cabinets, she said.

He put a knife to her neck and said they would both die. When he let her go to attend to their son, she went into the bathroom to clean her injuries, she said.

Griffey followed her to the bathroom, locked the door and said he was going to kill himself. She calmed him down and persuaded him to let her leave the bathroom, she told police.

When he unlocked the door, she fled the bathroom and ran out of the home. He chased her out the door, caught up to her and knocked her down.

He stabbed her legs, hip and chest repeatedly, according to the police statement. She also had a large contusion on her forehead and a small cut on her eye.

Police said evidence observed at the couple’s home was consistent with Cardona’s account.

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