WISCASSET, Maine — A man accused of a brutal domestic violence attack on his girlfriend Monday morning will remain in jail on $100,000 cash bail following his initial court appearance Wednesday in Wiscasset District Court.
Matthew T. Wycoff, 28, is charged with Class A elevated aggravated assault, which is the highest assault charge possible under Maine law. During Wednesday’s hearing, Sagadahoc County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau called for Wycoff’s bail to be set at $100,000 — which is the same amount his bail was set at after his arrest — and reiterated previous statements by police that the alleged victim, who suffered stab wounds to her neck and shoulder, is lucky to be alive.
“Under most circumstances this would have been a lethal assault,” Rushlau told District Court Judge Patricia Worth.
Wycoff, who appeared in the courtroom through video conference from Two Bridges Regional Jail, said little during the hearing other than a series of affirmative responses to questions from Worth about his legal rights and the charges against him. If Wycoff is able to pay his bail, he is barred from any contact with his alleged victim or witnesses who saw the attack. Worth stressed that no contact includes telephone calls, electronic messages or even eye contact if Wycoff finds himself in the same room as the victim. Wycoff said he intends to go through a financial screening next week to see if he is eligible for a court-appointed attorney. Wycoff did not enter a plea.
According to Bath police, an argument between Wycoff and his girlfriend Monday morning escalated from verbal in nature to a brutal attack within a few minutes. Wycoff allegedly stabbed the woman multiple times with a steak knife, which broke during the attack. Bath Lt. Stan Cielinski said the knife breaking may have saved her life. The woman is recovering from what Cielinski said are serious wounds that are not life threatening.
Wycoff allegedly fled the apartment in a black Kia sport utility vehicle but was arrested a short time later at a gas station on Main Street in Topsham.
Rushlau told the Bangor Daily News outside the courtroom that he thinks the elevated aggravated assault charge is appropriate in this case. Asked why Wycoff is not charged with attempted murder, Rushlau said there is little difference between the two charges, which are both Class A felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
“Attempted murder is so difficult to prove,” said Rushlau, who added that it is far too early in the case to comment about what sentence the state will pursue against Wycoff if he is convicted. Wycoff’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 7.