AUGUSTA — Police say a city woman bought a large kitchen knife, stabbed her husband with it when he came home from work, and then stabbed him again as she drove him to the hospital Friday afternoon.
Tracy L. Fleischer, 34, had an initial court hearing Monday at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the Kennebec County jail where a judge set her bail at $75,000 cash, with conditions that prohibit her from having contact with the victim and her three children, at least one of which police say saw the stabbing at the home.
“These people are witnesses, your honor,” said Assistant District Attorney Francis Griffin.
Fleischer’s face reddened and she used her hand to wipe tears from her eyes, as Griffin read off that condition of the bail sought by the state. Griffin requested a $100,000 cash bail, saying, “This is someone who is a risk to everyone involved.”
The state has charged Fleischer with elevated aggravated assault (domestic violence) and a lesser charge of aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing of her husband that allegedly began in their North Pearl Street home and stopped after she discarded the knife from the vehicle as she drove to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. On Monday night the victim was listed in serious condition, according to a hospital spokesman.
Judge Evert Fowle told Fleischer on Monday that he was not asking for her to respond to the charges. He also told her that a conviction for elevated aggravated assault carries a maximum 30-year prison term.
Griffin said Monday that his office learned that the victim was currently in surgery because the stabbing “nicked some vital organs.” Griffin said the offense was premeditated and could easily have been a murder case.
“It looks like fortunately the victim will survive,” Griffin said.
Griffin also told Fowle that Tracy Fleischer “called for help, admitted she stabbed him and while on the way to the hospital stabbed him again.”
According to an affidavit by Augusta Police Officer Brett Lowell filed in court on Monday, two friends of Tracy Fleischer’s had called police on Friday with concerns that Fleischer’s three children might have seen her stab her husband.
Lowell said the older daughter told him their father seemed concerned at lunch that his wife had seen something on his Instagram account.
After he went back to work, the girl said, Tracy Fleischer arrived home and removed a new kitchen knife from packaging.
“The daughter stated that (her father) often hides all of the kitchen knives due to the past violence between Tracy against (him),” Lowell wrote.
The daughter said when her father returned from work about 4 p.m., she heard both adults screaming and then her father scream, “No, No, No.” The prosecutor said the mother had sent the girl outside while the stabbing took place.
The affidavit says the girl “turned and looked at the door and saw Tracy going at (him) with the large kitchen knife that she had just purchased, stabbing (him).”
The daughter told police she grabbed her father’s shirt to pull him out of the apartment, shut the door against her mother and gave her father her shirt to stem his bleeding. She said she then ran into her room and locked it because she was scared her mother might be mad at her.
Later, the two women arrived at Tracy Fleischer’s request to take the children. The prosecutor said the husband was stabbed in the torso at home.
Lowell reported that police found “blood spatter on the inside edge of the passenger seat, which is consistent with what (one woman) had told me about Tracy stating that she stabbed (him) in the leg on the way to the hospital.”
Police arrested Fleischer Friday night at her home, convincing her to open the door to them.
When they said they were going to look for credit card receipts for the new knife, she told them she had paid cash for it, Lowell noted in his report.
Fleischer has no prior criminal record, Fowle was told on Monday.
A prior charge of aggravated assault from June 2015 was dismissed in September 2015 on the basis of “insufficient evidence.” It was not clear who was named as the victim in that case.
Attorney William Baghdoyan, who represented Fleischer as lawyer of the day, argued that the $100,000 bail was excessive.
When Fowle imposed the $75,000 bail that included no contact with the children, Fleischer closed her eyes and appeared to tear up again.
Fowle said the amount was based on “ensuring her appearance at court, considering the seriousness and nature of the charges and ensuring the safety of the community.”
This story was updated Tuesday morning to add the condition of the victim.
Betty Adams — 621-5631