Man charged with slashing girlfriend with knife to serve 30 days after plea agreement

Posted Aug. 19, 2014, at 3:21 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — A 31-year-old Whitefield man charged in December with attacking his girlfriend, attempting to strangle her and then cutting her with a knife will serve 30 days in jail as the result of a plea agreement.

Richard C. Staples was indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury in March on charges of elevated aggravated assault, a Class A felony, as well as with Class B aggravated assault and obstructing report of a crime, a misdemeanor.

Staples allegedly attacked his 29-year-old girlfriend at a Bristol residence on Dec. 22, 2013, pushing her to the ground and trying to strangle her, then inflicting a “substantial cut” to her hand, Lt. Mike Murphy of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.

When the woman attempted to call for help, Staples allegedly smashed her phone. He then left the house, Murphy said, and the woman drove to her mother’s home.

Seven days later, Staples was arrested again and charged with violating conditions of release after he allegedly made contact with the woman in violation of his bail conditions.

Staples initially pleaded not guilty to all counts.

On Aug. 13, Justice Jeffrey Hjelm accepted a plea agreement in which Staples pleaded guilty to Class D domestic violence assault, a misdemeanor, and the Lincoln County district attorney’s office dismissed the Class A and B felony charges, as well as the charge of misdemeanor obstructing report of a crime, according to court records.

Staples was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended, and two years probation.

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