AUGUSTA — A Benton man who allegedly threatened to slit a woman’s throat and run her over with a vehicle withdrew no-contest pleas to domestic violence-related charges on Thursday when a judge rejected a proposed plea deal.

Chief District Court Judge Brent Davis made the decision after hearing from the alleged victim that the agreed-upon sentence of 90 days behind bars was not enough.

“What this man did to me, in our relationship, has tortured me,” the woman said, through tears. “I have nightmares of him beating me. I don’t think three months is justice enough, for me. It has been hard to cope with this. I’m in therapy because of what he’s done to me. I just want you to take that into consideration.”

Christopher S. Groves, 28, of Benton, initially pleaded no contest to charges of violating conditions of release, domestic violence assault and domestic violence criminal threatening Thursday at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. Other related charges, including domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, theft and two other counts of violating conditions of release, were dismissed as part of a proposed plea deal.

Prosecutor Shannon Flaherty, an assistant district attorney, said a woman told police that Groves, in a May of 2023 incident in Benton, threatened to slit her throat if she tried to leave and later threatened to run her over with a vehicle and kill her. She said he threw her during an argument, which a Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office investigator said left a bump on her head.

The newspaper is not identifying the woman because its policy is not to identify victims of alleged domestic violence without their consent.


In June of 2023 Groves allegedly again threatened to run the woman over, at the Cumberland Farms store in Fairfield, while he was on bail with conditions including that he not have contact with her.

A plea deal reached between state prosecutors and Groves and his attorney, James Langworthy, would have sentenced Groves to three years imprisonment but with all but 90 days of that time suspended, and two years probation. That would have meant he’d serve 90 days behind bars if he complied with the terms of his probation, but could have faced the full three-year sentence if he violated probation.

In response, Judge Davis called both attorneys into his chambers, where he apparently rejected the plea deal.

Groves, after meeting with Langworthy, was allowed to withdraw his pleas of not contesting the charges. The case is scheduled to continue in court in a July 18 conference.

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