AUGUSTA — A jury on Thursday cleared a city man of aggravated assault but convicted him of domestic violence assault in a case where he was accused of trying to strangle his former wife in early September.

Charles D. Buckingham, 55, was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 35 days suspended, given credit for 35 days he had already served and placed on probation for two years.

The split verdict came at the end of a two-day trial in Kennebec County Superior Court and after about an hour of deliberation.

“I think it was a huge victory on the aggravated assault charge because it was class B felony, and the jury simply found my client had not committed the offense as charged,” said Buckingham’s attorney, Lisa Whittier.

“I respect the verdict the jury returned on the domestic violence assault charge.”

According to the complaint, the domestic assault occurred Aug. 7 in an apartment on Summerhaven Road in Augusta and followed an argument between Buckingham and his former wife.

“I admire the victim’s strength in being able to testify to a terrifying time in her life,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said via email in reaction to the verdict. “Strangulation is a felony and is taken seriously by my office.”

Buckingham also faces four other charges, tampering with a victim — the same woman — and three counts of violation of condition of release. The offenses allegedly occurred Sept. 2-5 in Augusta.

He is scheduled to be in Kennebec County Superior Court for docket call on those charges in January. Maloney said on Thursday that the prosecution will continue.

In a separate case scheduled for trial in Kennebec County Superior Court earlier this week, defendant Myphu U. Phair, 36, of Winthrop, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal operating under the influence and was placed on conditions of deferred disposition for 12 months. According to the complaint, Phair was stopped Nov. 9, 2013, in Manchester.

Under the agreement, if he successfully complies with a number of conditions, the charge will be dismissed.

A jury had been empaneled to hear the case Tuesday.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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