Trial begins for man accused in Hallowell stabbing

June 5th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA — A Colorado man on trial for stabbing two men with a box cutter outside a Hallowell bar last November acted in self-defense, the man’s attorney told jurors Wednesday.

Jacob Lynn Hitchcock, 26, of Bennett, Colo., is on trial in Kennebec County Superior Court facing two charges of aggravated assault stemming from a fight in front of the Higher Grounds bar in Hallowell. The scuffle reportedly was sparked by a racial slur that Hitchcock directed at another man.

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Hitchcock has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Roger Brunelle, told jurors Hitchcock will testify that he acted in self-defense.

“He was at a point where the only option he had was to defend himself,” Brunelle said in his opening statement.

He said Hitchcock was in Maine working for a contractor and had gone out that night with co-workers but had not changed his clothes, which is why he had his utility knife with him.

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Fernand LaRochelle, showed jurors photos of Hitchcock and of Water Street in Hallowell, just in front of Higher Grounds. The nine women and five men on the jury handled photos of Hitchcock that showed him with his face swollen and bruised and with cuts above his eye.

In court on Wednesday, Hitchcock wore a blue long-sleeved shirt, a dark tie, a black belt and trousers. His face is thin and free of bruises.

The difference in his appearance then was so drastic that Hallowell Police Officer Kristal Clark, who

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