AUGUSTA, Maine - A father and daughter recovering from a vicious machete attack in Pittston are speaking out for the first time.
After spending eight weeks in the hospital following the May 27 attack, William Guerrette Jr. said he wants to know “how any human being does what they did to my child.”
Guerrette’ s 11-year-old daughter, Nicole, has been in the hospital twice since the attack. She has to wear a helmet to protect the spot where her skull was fractured and bone was removed after an infection.
Guerrette’ s missing a finger and can’ t blink his left eye because the machete severed a muscle just below the eye socket. He faces months of speech, physical and occupational therapy, as well as additional surgeries. He and his daughter both have deep scarring on their arms and faces.
“I am lucky to be alive,” he told the Kennebec Journal in an interview at an undisclosed location. “I am very blessed to be here.”
Leo Hylton, 18, has been charged with four counts of aggravated attempted murder in the attack. He faces life in prison if convicted.
A motive for the attack has not been revealed, but Hylton’ s roommate and foster brother, 20-year-old Daniel Fortune, is charged with stealing more than $111,000 in cash and historic currency from the Guerrette home last November.
Guerrette, a businessman and former state legislator, said he has little memory of the attack, which took place at about 2 a.m. on May 27 in the family’ s home on a rural dead-end road.
While the family at times feels mad, he said they choose not to dwell on vengeance or anger.
“What good does it do to dwell on anger?” Guerrette said. “It’ s not good for the soul.”
Guerrette’ s wife, Melanie, and daughter said they still feel fear.
“I will never feel safe again,” Melanie Guerrette said. “Our lives will never be the same again.”
Since the attacks, the community has organized rallies, prepared gift baskets and held fundraising drives to help the family.
“I would say people’ s generosity toward me and my family has restored my faith in humanity, yes, yes,” William Guerrette said. “If I could say anything, it would be a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us and prayed for us. They have given me hope.”