AUGUSTA — A Chelsea man who attacked another man with a machete at a gravel pit was sentenced Thursday to 18 months behind bars.

Elias M. Rodriguez, 25, was sentenced at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta to a six-year prison sentence, with all but 18 months of that time suspended, and two years of probation, after pleading guilty to a Class B charge of aggravated assault.

The attack took place Feb. 10, 2023, at the parking lot of a construction company’s gravel pit in Augusta, according to officials.

Rodriguez hit another man multiple times with a rusty, 18-inch machete, according to police and prosecutor Jonathan Provisor, an assistant district attorney for Kennebec County. The 22-year-old victim said he used his arm to block Rodriguez from striking his head with the machete, leaving a 3-inch gash to his arm.

The laceration later required stitches, and caused enough blood loss that the man passed out after refusing a blood transfusion at the hospital. Emergency room workers told police the man’s blood pressure was so low he could have died.

Officials said Rodriguez and a 19-year-old friend of the victim, who was with the victim the night of the attack, had a confrontation in January at a Taco Bell parking lot in Augusta. The 19-year-old allegedly kicked the taillight of Rodriguez’s girlfriend’s car. 


The victim’s friend, who initially denied knowing Rodriguez, later told police he had had ongoing arguments with Rodriguez via social media. 

An affidavit filed by Detective Benjamin Murtiff of the Augusta Police Department said the pair involved in the Taco Bell altercation had apparently arranged to meet at the gravel pit on West River Road to fight. 

The night of the gravel pit incident, Rodriguez was reportedly holding a machete when he got out of a car and confronted the two men. Provisor said in court Thursday the victim attempted to run from Rodriguez, but slipped and fell into a snow pile. Provisor said Rodriguez then used the machete to attack the man. The man was eventually able to kick him in the chest and escaped. 

The charge against Rodriguez carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. His sentence means he is expected to spend 18 months in prison, if he complies with the terms of his probation. If he violates his probation, he could face up to the remaining time of his six-year sentence.

Rodriguez’s probation conditions include he not have contact with the other two men involved in the incident, undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling and not possess dangerous weapons or firearms.

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Verne Paradie Jr., said Rodriguez disputed some of how prosecutors described his actions in the incident, but believed he could be found guilty by a jury and wanted to move forward with his guilty plea in the case.

“I want to get it over with,” Rodriguez said.

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