LEWISTON, Maine — A Horton Street man stabbed and punched a woman with whom he had an intimate relationship, because he found out she was a drug informant, police said.
Mark W. Brown, 36, appeared dressed in an orange jail suit, his legs shackled and his hands cuffed at 8th District Court on Friday. A judge set bail at $60,000, $10,000 more than sought by prosecutors, calling the charges “quite horrific.”
Judge John Beliveau said Brown, if released on bail, could pose a danger to the community and might leave the state.
He faces four felonies, including criminal threatening, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, tampering with a witness or informant and aggravated assault.
Assistant District Attorney Patricia Reynolds Regan said Brown has an “extensive criminal history,” including several felony convictions while living in Pennsylvania. Court records show he served two six-year sentences in prison in that state.
She said Brown threatened witnesses and family members of witnesses, “which goes to the absolute heart of the judicial process,” she said. If a victim or a witness can’t feel safe coming to court, fearing they might be threatened or held at gunpoint if they do, that undermines the judicial system, she said.
Beliveau agreed, boosting Brown’s bail.
“I would ask for the safety of the community and the safety of the victims and witnesses,” Regan said.
James Howaniec, an attorney who represented Brown on Friday, said Brown, a self-employed barber, has family in the area and has roughly $900 to his name.
Brown was arrested Wednesday at a Bartlett Street apartment along with several others.
He was accused of twice stabbing a 22-year-old Lewiston woman in the buttocks on Monday after learning she was an informant for an agent at the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. He also punched her in the face, police said in court records. She told police she had been in a sexual relationship with Brown for two months.
She told police that Brown said to her: “Let me find out you’re snitching and I will blow your head off. There are plenty of woods to bury you in.”
On Wednesday, police responded to 197 Bartlett St. where Brown pointed a gun at a 44-year-old woman who lived there after Brown had argued with the woman’s 22-year-old daughter, who had dated Brown for about 18 months, police said.
Police searched an apartment where Brown was and found a .22 caliber rifle with a mock suppressor attached. Police said Brown admitted having the gun.
Brown’s case is expected to be transferred to Androscoggin County Superior Court where a grand jury is likely to consider whether to hand up an indictment on the felony charges.