Jury acquits Witmer of most serious charges in stabbing

Posted Nov. 02, 2009, at 6:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Jurors late Monday afternoon found an Eddington man not guilty of trying to kill his estranged wife and her boyfriend 16 months ago.

After deliberating for two hours, the jury of four men and eight women found Ryan Witmer, 33, not guilty of aggravated attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and burglary. Jurors found Witmer guilty of the lesser charges of simple assault and violation of a protection order after a 5 ½-day trial in Penobscot Count Superior Court.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson released Witmer, who had been held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest on June 29, 2008, on $20,000 surety bail. Witmer’s mother put up the surety in her Eddington home as bail. Witmer was expected to live with her.

Conditions of his release include no contact with his ex-wife and her boyfriend, no use of alcohol or drugs and random testing for their use. Witmer also may not be at his former residence on Stone Wall Drive in Orrington.

Anderson said a sentencing date would not be set until later in the month.

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