ROCKLAND — A 33-year-old man will serve six years in prison after admitting he repeatedly stabbed a Rockland man in the back after an argument over underwear being left on the bathroom floor that escalated into a racial slur being used.

George Gilmore was sentenced Friday in Knox County Superior Court to 12 years in prison with all but six years suspended. He will be on probation for four years after he is released from prison.

Gilmore pleaded guilty to elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault as a result of the Dec. 6, 2017, attack at the Knox Street apartment that Gilmore, his family and the victims shared.

Justice Daniel Billings said the sentence was a significant one for a serious crime.

Gilmore has been held at the Knox County Jail in Rockland since he was arrested, hiding in the bathroom at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

One stabbing victim, 33-year-old Morgan Robinson, was seriously injured, with numerous stab wounds to his back. His 28-year-old wife, Monica Robinson, suffered superficial knife wounds.

Gilmore told police he snapped during an argument with Morgan Robinson and stabbed him.

An affidavit filed by Rockland police in Knox County Unified Court in December said that Gilmore had yelled for Morgan Robinson to come back upstairs and pick up underwear he left on the bathroom floor after a shower.

The argument turned to Gilmore’s alleged abusive treatment of one of the children in the apartment. Gilmore denied he was being abusive, according to the affidavit.

Gilmore then tackled Robinson, who was facing away from him, and they fell onto a bed. Witnesses told police that Gilmore continued to strike Robinson. Monica Robinson tried to pull Gilmore off Morgan Robinson, but he continued the attack until she said she would call the police. Gilmore then left.

Monica Robinson told police she did not see the knife and did not know Morgan Robinson had been stabbed until she saw him covered in blood and he said he felt like he was breathing bubbles and was going to die, according to the affidavit. She did not notice her own injury until that point.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody said the blade broke off the knife during the attack. The prosecutor said evidence would have shown that Morgan Robinson had used a racial slur just prior to the stabbing. Gilmore is black.

Gilmore was represented by attorney Jeremy Pratt of Camden.

Gilmore’s criminal record includes illegal contact with a juvenile, failure to register as a sex offender and an assault for which he was sentenced to two years in prison. Gilmore moved to Maine last summer after being released from a Connecticut prison where he served time for the assault.

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