AUGUSTA — A Rome man accused of trying to strangle his girlfriend with a shoelace before threatening her daughter with a knife made his first court appearance Friday.

Ronald Willey, 28, appeared via video in Augusta District Court on charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence terrorizing. Judge Patrick Ende set bail at $50,000 cash and prohibited Willey from contacting the victims, Cher Simon and her daughter. The order also prohibits Willey from carrying any weapons.

Willey was arrested Thursday in Augusta after several days on the lam.

Police say Willey on Sunday tried to strangle Simon with a shoelace, knocking her unconscious, inside the home the couple share on Watson Road in Rome.

Willey threatened Simon and her 13-year-old daughter with a knife and then fled, according to police.

Detectives had been unable to find Willey until he called the sheriff’s department Thursday seeking to turn himself in.

Willey was released from the Maine State Prison in May after serving a 34-month term imposed after he pleaded guilty in March 2009 to criminal threatening, assault, negotiating a worthless instrument and violating conditions of release.

Published reports show several other indictments and convictions against Willey dating back to 2002.

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