Sedgwick woman with history of assaults on trial for allegedly striking renter

Posted Nov. 25, 2013, at 5:58 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Sedgwick woman already convicted twice before of assault was back in court on Monday on another charge of assault.

Amber Yurchick, 26, is on trial for allegedly hitting John E. Beardsley, 41, with a club on March 23 in Sedgwick. Beardsley accrued medical bills totaling $10,164 for treatment he received at the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital following the alleged assault, according to court documents.

But Yurchick’s lawyer, Matthew Foster, told the jury on the first day of the trial that that’s not the whole story.

Beardsley had been renting a fully furnished apartment from Yurchick’s mother and testified that he wanted a relationship with her — a feeling she did not reciprocate. The apartment was on the same property as the house Yurchick lived in with her mother and on March 23, the two Yurchicks saw Beardsley come home after drinking with friends and smash one of their chairs on the porch, Foster said. Beardsley also sent angry text messages to Yurchick’s mother, the attorney said.

Beardsley said he was upset because he noticed the woman’s ex-boyfriend was at their house.

Amber Yurchick then went over to his apartment with a club, broke the window of his door and went inside.

“He came at her,” said Foster of Beardsley.

But Beardsley said it was Yurchick who came at him and hit him three times with the club, before she told him to leave her mother alone.

Foster told the jury, “You have a right to use reasonable force to defend your property.” Amber Yurchick, he said, was concerned Beardsley might do further damage to her belongings inside the apartment.

“She had a right under the law to use reasonable force to protect herself,” he added. He argued that Beardsley had come at Yurchick, and she reacted in self defense.

Amber Yurchick has prior convictions on multiple charges, including assault. She was sentenced in November 2007 to serve four years in jail after being convicted of arson, burglary, terrorizing, assault and criminal trespass. In that case, she was found guilty of setting fire in October 2006 to a Sedgwick home that she once shared with a boyfriend. During the trial, she admitted to being upset that her ex-boyfriend was seeing someone new and to going to the home to confront him, but she blamed the arson on her own brother. The fire destroyed the home but no one was injured.

Yurchick also was convicted of assault on March 15, 2013, according to court documents, and sentenced to 30 days in jail. No details on that assault were available Monday.

The trial is expected to end on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

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