AUBURN — A Lewiston man scheduled for trial next month on an aggravated attempted murder charge in the stabbing of a police officer nearly a year ago recently fired his attorneys.

Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy on Friday accepted the withdrawal of attorneys Jeffrey Dolley and James Howaniec and promised Jonathan Order, 28, of 113 College St. a new court-appointed attorney.

At the brief hearing Friday afternoon, Howaniec said he filed a motion to withdraw from Order’s defense team because communication between clients and their attorney’s sometimes break down, especially approaching trial date.

“This case has crossed the point where the breakdown is irreversible,” Howaniec said. He characterized the breakdown in communication as “complete.”

Because Order was seeking the withdrawal of legal counsel, Howaniec said he and Dolley were obligated to file motions with the court complying with Order’s wishes in keeping with Maine Bar Rules.

Dolley said he would be denying Order his constitutional rights if he were to continue to represent him at trial. He said Order fired him a week ago after meeting with him at Androscoggin County Jail where Order is being held pending trial.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Bogue objected to the withdrawals, noting that the action comes shortly before the case was scheduled for a weeklong trial.

Dolley acknowledged the poor timing, but said Order’s constitutional rights outweighed the timeliness argument.

Kennedy said she had read a “thorough” letter penned by Order who explained his reasons for seeking different legal representation.

She said she would appoint a new attorney, but cautioned: “This is not going to happen again,” unless a significant issue arises.

She told Order he had “two very fine attorneys” in Dolley and Howaniec.

Order faces more than a dozen charges — nine of them felonies — stemming from events on Sept. 19.

Lewiston Police Cpl. Michael Dumond was stabbed five times in his hand, chest and back. He was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening and returned to full duty.

An Androscoggin County grand jury handed up an indictment in November that included the following charges: aggravated attempted murder; two counts of aggravated assault; four counts of assault on an officer; domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon; domestic violence criminal threatening; trafficking in prison contraband; unlawful possession of scheduled drugs; violation of condition of release; and domestic violence assault.

One of the felony charges is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; two of the felony counts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Each of the remaining felonies carries prison time of up to five years.

Dumond was stabbed during the early-morning hours while he and other officers negotiated with Order, who was suspected of domestic violence abuse.

Lewiston police went to Order’s apartment at 2:28 a.m. to arrest him on an aggravated domestic violence charge brought by Sabattus Police, stemming from an incident that had occurred two hours earlier.

A woman said Order, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, had choked her in a car across the street from Mixers Nightclub and Bar on Sabattus Road just after midnight. She said she jumped from the car, hitting her head on the pavement and that Order tried to hit her with the car. She ran into a nearby convenience store and called police while Order fled.

According to an arrest affidavit, Lewiston police could hear Order talking on the phone in his second-floor College Street apartment, but he refused to open the door. He told officers he wouldn’t surrender. He threatened: “I am going to kill every pig out there.” He also said he wished he had a gun, according to the affidavit. He also said he was placing a lit blowtorch near the door.

Lewiston police negotiated with him for more than 30 minutes. Order opened the door twice, but slammed it closed again each time.

Dumond managed to slip his flashlight into the door opening the second time, keeping the door ajar.

Order responded by throwing the door open again and allegedly attacking Dumond and other officers while they struggled with him.

Dumond was stabbed five times — three times in the chest, once in the back and once in the hand he used to fend off Order’s blows. Order managed to slip back into the apartment before the other officers could get past the injured officer. Dumond was taken to a local hospital.

Order surrendered unarmed minutes later and was taken to Androscoggin County Jail, where, police said, he was found with a plastic bag containing five 10 milligram pills of Diazepam. The drug is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms, and sometimes seizures.

Order was taken to an observation room to be strip-searched, where he struck an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and an officer. According to the police affidavit, he said he had already been in one fight tonight “and why stop now?”

He was eventually subdued and placed in a restraint chair.

Police searched Order’s apartment later that morning and found a folding knife with a three-inch blade and a blowtorch.

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