2 present different stories of stabbing

Posted Feb. 04, 2009, at 9:38 p.m.

VINALHAVEN, Maine — The island woman accused of stabbing her ex-husband and son with a steak knife after Sunday night’s Super Bowl will be arraigned on April 29 at Knox County Superior Court.

Maria Witham, 30, told a domestic violence investigator with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office early Monday morning that she meant to stab her ex-husband, Joshua Anthony, during a fight late Monday night — but that she never intended to hurt her 8-year-old son.

Anthony was stabbed in the left arm and side, and had cuts on the left side of his head. The child’s hand was cut and his right arm was bruised, according to court documents.

Witham and Anthony recounted strikingly different versions of the events that led to the violence to Detective Dwight Burtis of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Burtis’ interviews with Anthony and Witham are included in the court documents.

Anthony, still bandaged and wearing bloody pants, told the detective late Sunday night that he had been trying to keep an intoxicated Witham from leaving the house with their son. He said that the couple argued and that he “threatened to call the police,” but then Witham threw and broke the telephone. Anthony told the detective that Witham then grabbed and scratched at him and then surprised him by stabbing him with the knife.

Witham’s story is quite different. She told the detective that Anthony had been staying at her Roberts Cemetery Road home on and off, but when she told him to leave that night he wouldn’t go. Their argument escalated and she tried to call for help, she said, but Anthony took the phone away from her and pulled out the cord. Witham said that Anthony then pushed her to the floor and threatened to kill or beat her, according to the detective.

“She said she finally grabbed a knife from the kitchen when Anthony ‘got in my face,’” Burtis wrote. The detective indicated that Witham told him she did not realize her son was so close when she attacked Anthony. The boy was stabbed in the left hand, according to the police report.

A third adult witnessed all the events, but when the detective contacted him by telephone, he “was not particularly cooperative,” Burtis wrote. “He attempted to stay neutral — saying that he did not want to interfere with ‘family business.’”

Anthony and the boy were taken by ferry to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport where they were treated and later released, according to officials. Witham was arrested on two counts of elevated aggravated assault and violation of conditions of release on a previous unrelated charge. She was jailed a few hours before being released on bail Monday afternoon.

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