ELLSWORTH, Maine — A local man has been sentenced to serve a year behind bars for stabbing another man during a confrontation at a shopping mall.
Justin T. Frye, 20, was charged with aggravated assault after the Dec. 12, 2008, incident.
Frye told police at the time that he had acted in self-defense after two men confronted him at Ellsworth Shopping Center about another incident a few days earlier in Blue Hill. The two men accused Frye of stealing a piece of equipment from a truck. Frye told police he had approached the parked truck, thinking it belonged to his girlfriend’s father, but did not get into it when he realized it belonged to someone else.
According to police, Frye said that when the men confronted him he took a knife from his vehicle and put it in the back pocket of his pants. After a brief verbal exchange, one of the two men kicked his vehicle as they walked away, he said, which prompted Frye to get out of his vehicle.
At that point, one of the two men came back toward Frye and struck Frye in the neck with his elbow, Frye told police. Frye reacted by stabbing the man, he said.
The two men who confronted Frye about the suspected theft in Ellsworth told police a different story about how the attack occurred. They said that after they verbally confronted Frye, they turned and were walking away when Frye ran up behind them and stabbed one of them with a knife.
Frye was convicted of aggravated assault in early March after a jury trial in Hancock County Superior Court.
On March 29, Justice Kevin Cuddy sentenced Frye to five years in prison with all but 12 months suspended. He also was ordered to serve three years of probation upon his release and to pay $10,376 in restitution to the assault victim.