AUBURN — Gerard Dumais was spraying weeds on his front lawn July 19 when he saw a woman running toward him from across the street, her face covered with blood, yelling, “Help me! Help me, please!” he said Tuesday.

Dumais, a UPS driver, was still in his brown work uniform when he jumped into action, running toward her, trying to keep himself between her and the armed man who pursued her.

“He jumped on top of her,” Dumais said. “He was jabbing away. It was a knife.”

Dumais got behind the man and put him in a chokehold, but the man continued to stab the woman, grunting with the effort. Dumais grabbed the man’s hand and forced the knife out of it, then flung it as far as he could into the street.

He stayed on top of the man, subduing him with a chokehold until police arrived at least five minutes later, he testified. The woman didn’t move, he said.

The man, Eric Griffey, 45, of 27 Clover Lane, told Dumais, “‘I just f’ed my life, but I had a good one.'” He said Dumais could release him, but Dumais held on until police put Griffey in handcuffs.

Advertisement

Dumais testified during the second day of Griffey’s trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court. He’s charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, threatening with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence assault.

On Monday, jurors heard more than two hours of testimony from Kellie Cardona, the stabbing victim and Griffey’s ex-girlfriend. The couple had recently moved into a house in the neighborhood.

Other neighbors who came to Cardona’s aid testified in court about that Tuesday evening.

Jane McGuire, who, like Dumais, lives across the street, said she saw Cardona running down her front lawn toward the street where a black pickup truck was stopped, and a man was chasing her. McGuire said she thought the two might have been playing a game.

Then McGuire heard Cardona scream, “Help me!”

McGuire’s next thought was someone or something had been struck by the truck, possibly a child.

Advertisement

She screamed to her husband, Stephen, “Oh, my God! We have to go help!”

McGuire said the woman, who was hysterical, ran in front of the pickup truck. The man chasing her ran behind the truck, McGuire said.

She said the man jumped on the woman and yelled, “I’m gonna kill you, b****!”

McGuire watched as Dumais jumped on the man.

Stephen McGuire shouted to his wife to “go to the boy,” referring to Griffey and Cardona’s 5-year-old son, who was standing on his lawn, crying.

Jane McGuire introduced herself to the boy and coaxed him into sitting on the steps of his home.

Advertisement

“He asked me to go in the house and see all the red,” McGuire said. She didn’t do that, she said.

“He asked why his mom was red,” McGuire said, referring to Cardona, who was covered in her blood.

McGuire said she remained with the boy until his grandmother arrived at the scene.

Stephen McGuire said he held Cardona’s hand as they waited for an ambulance to arrive, trying to keep the woman from losing consciousness as she tried to close her eyes, which were rolling back in her head. She kept asking about her son, so McGuire told his wife to go to the child, he testified Tuesday.

Griffey has pleaded not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. He must show by a preponderance of evidence that, at the time of his criminal conduct, he lacked “substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness” of that conduct as a result of mental disease or defect, according to state law.

Charles Robinson, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, said Tuesday that he has been called as a defense expert in roughly 200 homicide cases.

Advertisement

For this case, Robinson said he reviewed police reports, psychological evaluations, medical reports, administered tests and met with Griffey in an effort to form observations about the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the stabbing.

Robinson said Griffey suffered from two principal diagnoses: obsessive- compulsive disorder and delusional disorder.

He said Griffey had a history of being a loving and kind son and father. But on the evening of July 19, a “perfect storm” of factors combined in his life that triggered actions uncharacteristic of his normally empathetic behavior.

On that day, Griffey had met with an attorney who was settling the estate of Griffey’s father, a child psychiatrist who had died about 15 months earlier. One of the family’s properties was sold, which “had a tremendous amount of symbolic feeling” for Griffey, Robinson said.

Also on that day, Griffey had been drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft, a medication used to treat OCD, anxiety and depression. Robinson called the mix a “very bad combination” that can result in disinhibition, or lessening of self-control.

Griffey was consumed by jealous thoughts about Cardona, believing she had been unfaithful with her son’s baseball coach, a “delusional jealousy that just wouldn’t stop,” Robinson said.

Advertisement

Griffey developed a “very compromised ability to integrate thoughts, feelings and behavior,” Robinson said. Added to that cocktail was a high caffeine intake and limited sleep. And Griffey suffered “fear of abandonment” issues, Robinson said.

These factors rose to the level that Griffey had an abnormal condition of mind, Robinson said. Griffey’s OCD and depression met the definition of mental disease or defect, Robinson said. He said those things could affect his ability to appreciate his criminal conduct.

During cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney James Andrews, Robinson said Griffey had been aware of his physical abuse toward Cardona on the evening of July 19 and could recall it later. He knew he was angry with her and that she was afraid of him. He also was aware that he was stabbing her and that he wanted to kill her, Robinson agreed with Andrews.

Robinson said what compelled Griffey was his delusional thinking that Cardona had been unfaithful.

Andrews asked whether Griffey had acted with intent that evening when he chased Cardona with a knife.

“Best answer, yes,” Robinson said. But he said Griffey had a “diminished capacity” to form intent.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: