AUGUSTA — A city woman admitted on Tuesday having stabbed the father of her child in the back in an incident last year that the victim said he attributed partly to postpartum depression.

Constance Jean Marie Mason, 20, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in connection with the Aug. 7, 2013, stabbing of William Foster, 59. Mason was sentenced to six years in prison with all but 11 months suspended and three years of probation under a plea deal negotiated between the prosecutor and Mason’s defense attorney, Darrick Banda.

Because Mason has been held at the Kennebec County jail for almost a year on the charge, she was to be freed Tuesday and begin probation immediately.

Justice Michaela Murphy accepted the deal only after Foster was notified that sentencing was taking place at the same time as the guilty plea.

Foster then came to the hearing, telling Murphy, “We want her back home,” as he sat with his baby daughter. Both wore navy blue T-shirts emblazoned with a bright American flag. Murphy told him it would a while before Mason would be permitted to live with them. Foster responded, “I understood that a long time ago.”

In outlining the evidence in the case for the judge, Assistant District Attorney Tracy DeVoll said a neighbor of the couple, who lived on Washington Street, initially heard a woman yelling and a man trying to calm her down and then heard a man say, “Ow, ow, ow.”

Emergency responders found Foster on the floor on his back in a pool of blood, DeVoll said. DeVoll said Foster did not want Mason prosecuted and believed her actions were affected by postpartum depression. Mason had no prior criminal record.

Mason initially told police that a stranger had entered the apartment and stabbed Foster, but later she admitted she had done it.

While in jail, Mason underwent an evaluation for competency and was found to have the mental skills to go through with the plea, the judge noted. Banda said he was convinced Mason understood what was happening and the requirements she has during probation.

Mason is banned from contact with Foster unless another adult is present, and Mason must follow requirements set by the state Department of Health & Human Services involving contact with her daughter. Foster has full custody of the baby, Mason told the judge.

Mason said she takes two prescribed medications at the jail and was ordered to continue psychiatric and psychological counseling.

A psychological evaluation of Mason, done by the State Forensic Service, indicated Mason was paranoid at the time as a result of temporary psychosis.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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