AUGUSTA — A Fairfield man pleaded guilty Friday to stabbing a man in the back during a melee in Winslow last October that left several people with knife wounds.

Damien G. Rogers, 39, also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of robbery when he allegedly shoved a worker at a Waterville Kmart who was trying to prevent him from stealing two MP3 players last summer.

Rogers was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but three years suspended, and three years of probation.

Rogers also was ordered to pay up to $2,000 restitution for out-of-pocket medical costs for the victim of the stabbing, which the prosecutor said involved a knife or a box-cutter.

Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell Jr. said the stabbing victim was walking home from a party when four or five men got out of a vehicle and surrounded him.

The victim took out a knife and lunged at them, Mitchell said, and was cut from behind by Rogers. The victim needed 54 stitches to close wounds in his back and additional 12 stitches to close stomach wounds allegedly inflicted by a co-defendant.

“There’s no question my client was stabbed first,” said Rogers’ attorney, Charles T. Farris. “My client did retaliate; he pulled out a knife.”

Farris told Justice Nancy Mills that Rogers was seriously wounded in the incident. “My client very nearly died,” Farris said. “He has a huge scar on his stomach.”

Farris also said that while his client admitted he was trying to steal the items from Kmart, “it’s clear on video my client put back the items he is alleged to have stolen.”

Under a plea agreement between the state and Farris, charges of elevated aggravated assault and violating condition of release, all relating to the Oct. 11 stabbing, were dismissed. Also, a theft and another charge of violating condition of release, connected to the July 11 robbery at Kmart, also were dismissed.

Mitchell said the victim in the stabbing was satisfied with the sentence.

In a separate hearing also in Kennebec County Superior Court on Friday, Scott R. Crone, 31, of Freeport, was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but 30 days suspended and two years of probation. He was given credit for 30 days he has already served.

He pleaded guilty to charges of domestic-violence assault, which occurred Aug. 11 in Waterville and to violating condition of release March 3.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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