Victim testifies boyfriend stabbed her twice in abdomen

Posted Jan. 12, 2010, at 2:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A 24-year-old Hampden woman testified Tuesday that her ex-boyfriend stabbed her twice in the abdomen on the evening of April 26, 2008. The attempted murder trial of David Archer, 34, of Bangor, got under way Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

The victim told the jury that Archer had sent text messages to her cell phone throughout the day and stopped by a friend’s Hudson Street apartment in Bangor, where she and her new boyfriend were spending the night. The victim, who is not being identified by the Bangor Daily News, testified that she went outside the apartment to talk with Archer and she suddenly felt him “punch” her twice.

The victim said Archer did not appear aggressive or angry in the moments leading up to the stabbing.

“He grabbed my left shoulder, and pulled me in toward him as if he was punching me,” she said. “I didn’t realize I was stabbed. He didn’t say anything. Not a word.”

Archer was arrested the day after the stabbing. He is charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault.

If convicted of attempted murder or elevated aggravated assault, Archer faces up to 30 years in prison. If convicted of aggravated assault, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

The woman testified Tuesday that she and Archer had dated for six or eight weeks before she broke off the relationship a few days before the stabbing.

“I thought we could maintain a friendship,” she testified. “There was no blowup or anything like that.”

The woman told the jury she was a recovering drug addict and in a methadone program. She told jurors that she had not used illegal drugs since December 2008.

Under cross-examination, she denied seeing Archer shoot up cocaine that night. She also denied there was a drug party at the house that night or that the people who lived there were drug dealers. The victim also told the jury that she did not remember injecting cocaine the night of the stabbing but admitted that she had injected cocaine three or four times during the time she and Archer dated.

The victim testified that until her friends carried her into the apartment and put her on the sofa, she did not realize she had been stabbed twice. The woman told the jury that her friends then got a towel, applied pressure to her wounds and called 911.

The victim told the jury Tuesday that her wounds required surgery and she remained hospitalized for four days. She said that it took her six weeks to recover totally from the stabbing.

The female friend who lived in the Hudson Street apartment testified that she and Archer shot up cocaine several times while her husband, the victim and her new boyfriend were upstairs in the same apartment on the night of the stabbing. She told the jury that the cocaine did not appear to change his behavior before Archer and the victim met outside to talk.

The victim’s friend, who is pregnant, is incarcerated on a probation violation at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. Information about what led to her prison term was not available late Tuesday.

During his opening statement, Greg Campbell, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, told the jury Archer was guilty of attempted murder because he told his mother that if he saw the victim with her new boyfriend, he would kill her. That statement, Campbell said, showed Archer’s intent to murder his ex-girlfriend.

Archer’s mother is expected to testify for the prosecution today.

Defense attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor said his client would take the stand and admit that he stabbed the victim but does not remember it. The attorney told the jury that Archer did not intend to hurt his ex-girlfriend and was not fully aware of what he was doing because minutes before the stabbing he had injected cocaine.

The trial is expected to conclude Thursday.

Archer is free on $20,000 cash bail, according to Campbell.

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