LEWISTON — A local man remained in jail Friday after police said he forced his way into an apartment and threatened the tenant with a loaded gun.

Stephen Gurney Photo submitted by Lewiston Police Department

Stephen Gurney, 34, of 54 Blake St. appeared in 8th District Court by videoconference earlier this week on four felony charges, including burglary, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and violation of condition of release. The burglary charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

A judge set bail at $40,000 cash.

According to a police affidavit, Gurney’s girlfriend had stayed at the apartment of Michael Lagasse, a longtime friend of Gurney, on the night of May 16 because she was afraid of him.

The next day, she returned to Lagasse’s apartment at 62 Oak St. to collect some of her clothes, Lagasse told police. He wouldn’t let her in because he believed she had stolen some of his belongings. He said he would get her things for her.

Gurney arrived a short time later and the couple forced their way into Lagasse’s apartment, he told police.
He said Gurney brandished a small silver and white handgun, waved it around and racked the slide to load it. Lagasse said Gurney demanded his girlfriend’s belongings and pointed the gun at him.

When Gurney wasn’t looking, Lagasse produced a 2-foot long “machete-type knife” and struck Gurney’s arm twice with it, according to the affidavit.

Gurney and his girlfriend left the apartment.

Lagasse told police he picked up the gun and tossed it into a nearby backpack.

Police said several witnesses corroborated Lagasse’s story.

After initially being uncooperative, Gurney spoke with police, telling them that he had gone to Lagasse’s apartment, claiming Lagasse had shoved Gurney’s girlfriend and spit in her face.

He said Lagasse had let him into the apartment, then injured him with the machete in an unprovoked attack.

He didn’t mention a gun to police. When they asked him about it, he first said he had seen it on a table, but his DNA wouldn’t be found on it. He later said his DNA might be found on the because he might have touched it.

He said any witnesses who said they saw him with a gun or threatening Lagasse were lying.

Gurney was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his wounds and remained in police custody. He was eventually taken to jail, where he made his initial court appearance Tuesday.

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