BRIDGTON — The man accused of assaulting a 77-year-old couple in their lakeside home Wednesday morning was high on methamphetamine and had been awake for at least two days, his girlfriend said.

Michael Holden Photo courtesy Cumberland County Jail

Katrina O’Connor, 26, said her boyfriend, Michael Holden, 37, had been awake for two or three days after using the synthetic stimulant. When she last saw him Tuesday around midday, Holden appeared disoriented or possibly in the midst of some type of mental break spurred by the drugs, she said.

“He wasn’t making much sense,” O’Connor said during a brief interview at Holden’s grandfather’s home on Kimball Road. “He told me he had something he had to do and said he’d be right back.”

But O’Connor said Holden did not come back, and around noon Wednesday, she and Holden’s relatives learned that he had been arrested and that two people were seriously injured. She speculated that the combination of a lack of sleep and drug use were contributing factors to the violence.

“That can cause anyone to go crazy,” O’Connor said.

Police say Holden attacked Robert and Margaret Macdonald inside their home on Innisfree Lane. A 911 call from the home was received just after 8 a.m., and Holden was taken into custody after police responded to the private lane where the house overlooks Long Lake. It is unclear whether Holden was still in the home at the time he was apprehended, or if he had fled the area. Police have declined to provide more specifics about the circumstances of his arrest.

Both husband and wife suffered serious head injuries, and were ultimately transferred from Bridgton Hospital to Maine Medical Center for further treatment. As of Thursday night, Margaret Macdonald was listed in fair condition and Robert Macdonald was in satisfactory condition.

Their son, Robert Macdonald Jr., released a brief statement on behalf of the family, asking for privacy and thanking the community for its support.

Margaret and Robert Macdonald

“Yesterday, July 10, my parents were attacked at their home in Bridgton, Maine, by an assailant unknown to them,” Macdonald Jr. said in the statement. “They both sustained serious injuries and are being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The family would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the outpouring of support and concern from friends, family, neighbors and our community. We ask for respect and privacy during this difficult time.”

Holden is expected to make his first appearance in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court in Portland on Friday afternoon. Police say he could be charged with multiple felonies, including elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and burglary, as well as drug possession.

Holden’s grandfather, Ronald Holden, said he and his wife mostly raised Holden and that their grandson has had trouble with the law and drugs in the past. But Ronald Holden declined to speak in more detail about it. Asked if there was anything he wanted the public to know about his grandson, Ronald Holden declined.

“I don’t think the people need to know anything,” Ronald Holden said. “The people around here know him. He’s in jail now and he’s probably going to be for a long time.”

Police have not released any details about why Holden may have chosen the Macdonalds’ home, whether anything was stolen from the residence or if Holden used a weapon.

“The couple did not know Holden, and police are attempting to determine the circumstances and motive for the violence,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Wednesday.

The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, which has final say over what charges Holden will face, had not filed charging documents Thursday, and Holden declined an interview request from his jail cell. He was being held without bail at the Cumberland County Jail in the special housing unit, which is more restrictive than general population holding conditions.

Holden has a criminal record dating to 2001, mostly for drug and property convictions. He has been charged with felonies, and some were alleged to be violent, but in most cases he pleaded to a lesser misdemeanor.

In his most recent serious arrest, Holden was charged in 2015 by Bridgton police with aggravated assault and domestic violence criminal threatening involving a firearm, but he later pleaded to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, according to criminal history records provided by the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

On his Facebook page, Holden says he is self-employed and attended Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. O’Connor, his girlfriend, said neither of them has a job.

Macdonald is the co-owner of two car dealerships. His family operates Macdonald Motors in Bridgton and Center Conway, New Hampshire. The Bridgton dealership moved into a new building on Route 302 in 1997, and the family is well-known throughout the Lakes Region.

The attack, and its apparently random nature, has shaken residents, said Brian Williams, 49, who has owned and run the Village Tie Up in Harrison, across Long Lake from the Macdonalds’ property.

Williams said he knows of Holden and the Macdonalds, and is skeptical that they knew each other.

“There is no way, shape or form these people played in the same circles,” Williams said. “We have known (Holden) as a customer and nothing surprises me. It’s not a good representation of our community, and it’s not a good representation of (the Holdens), but people need to be aware that these things happen. Stuff like this cuts to the core.”

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