Scott O’Donnell Androscoggin County Jail photo

LEWISTON — A Mechanic Falls man charged with stabbing a neighbor Wednesday night was twice convicted of murder, prosecutors said at a Friday court hearing.

Scott O’Donnell, 50, is accused of stabbing his neighbor at a mobile home park on Callahan Circle in Mechanic Falls, but claims his actions were self-defense.

He appeared Friday at an 8th District Court hearing by videoconference from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.

O’Donnell is charged with two felonies: elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault. The first is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; the second, by up to 10 years.

Acting District Attorney Alexandra Winter said she was seeking cash bail of $25,000, considering O’Donnell’s “fairly significant” criminal history that “indicates a high risk of continued violence.”

Winter said O’Donnell was convicted of murder in 1991 and sentenced to 20 years, but half of that time was suspended.


That same year, Winter said, he was convicted of a second murder in a separate case for which he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In 2004, O’Donnell was sentenced to serve three years behind bars for an aggravated assault conviction, Winter said.

O’Donnell’s court appointed attorney, Justin Leary, argued for bail of $2,500 or lower, noting O’Donnell hadn’t violated terms of his probation, was employed full time and was on his property at the time of the alleged assault.

“My client would testify the alleged victim was the aggressor,” Leary said.

Eighth District Court Judge Sarah Churchill set bail at $12,500, taking note of the place of the alleged assault. He remained in jail Friday night.

Winter said the stabbing victim, Ryan Munsey, 42, suffered severe lacerations to his upper right arm and abdomen. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries.


Judge Churchill ordered that if O’Donnell is released from jail, he not have any alcohol, illegal drugs or marijuana without a valid medical marijuana card and if he is believed to have violated these terms of release he could be searched.

O’Donnell also may not have any dangerous weapons, including knives, for which he could be searched at random, the judge said.

He is prohibited from having any contact with Munsey and two others and may not go to their homes, workplaces or schools.

O’Donnell may not return to his home at Callahan Circle and will stay with his brother in Mechanic Falls.

Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded Wednesday night to a report of a fight at the trailer park where witnesses said the victim was stabbed outside a home at 14 Callahan Circle, a looped road that runs off Elm Street.

Rescuers treated the victim at the scene before he was taken to the hospital.


A relative of O’Donnell said the man who was stabbed had been threatening the family and the stabbing was an act of self-defense.

A witness said the argument started between two women while one family was having a bonfire in their backyard. It initially involved yelling and profanity shouted back and forth, the witness said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded twice to the home and separated the combatants. After the officers left the area, fighting resumed and grew to involve more people.

When another neighbor intervened, two men started brawling, the witness said, rolling around on the ground while throwing punches at one another.

When the two men got to their feet moments later, the witness said, one man, shirtless, had blood running down his side. Another neighbor called for police and rescue crews, which arrived shortly after.

Leary told the judge Friday that the dispute apparently started when O’Donnell drove his pickup truck on his neighbor’s lawn, for which he apologized.

“My client knew the alleged victim from being incarcerated,” Leary told the judge. “And he indicated to the officer he did have some concern for his life, that he knew the alleged victim plays by different rules, suggesting that he had very much reason to be concerned.”

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