ROCKLAND, Maine — A state judge refused Friday to lower bail for two men in separate domestic assault cases in which the defendants are accused of threatening to kill their victims.
Jura was arrested Aug. 7 and charged with aggravated assault, felony domestic violence assault, domestic violence threatening with a dangerous weapon and violating a condition of release. He has been held without bail since his arrest.
Police were called after the alleged victim was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport to be treated for injuries she said were inflicted by Jura. The woman told police that Jura was upset because she had stayed out late with friends, according to an affidavit filed in court by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
When she returned to the home they shared, Jura struck her repeatedly in the face and then pressed a pillow over her face so hard that she had difficulty breathing, according to the affidavit. The woman told police that Jura told her “this is how you’re going to die.”
At the time, Jura was free on bail from previous domestic violence charges stemming from an incident in October 2015 involving the same woman. Under an agreement reached in February between the defense and the district attorney’s office concerning the previous incident, the domestic violence charges were to be dropped if Jura refrained from criminal conduct for six months.
Defense attorney William Pagnano argued Friday for bail to be lowered to $5,000 cash from the current no-bail status. Pagnano told the judge that Jura was a lifelong resident of the area, had a job and had never failed to appear for a court hearing.
Stokes said, however, he was not comfortable granting bail for Jura.
“I’m very troubled by the new allegations,” Stokes said in rejecting the request.
Stokes also rejected lowering bail for Vangel, who has been held without bail since his arrest on July 12.
Vangel was charged with domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and reckless conduct. He was arrested by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office after a motorist reported that a woman had asked for help when the vehicle she was in with Vangel had stopped at a convenience store in Union. Another witness followed the car until a deputy was able to stop it by the Union Commons.
Vangel had repeatedly punched the woman, attempted to strangle her and threatened to drive the car into a tree to kill both of them while traveling at up to 90 miles per hour, police reported in an affidavit filed in court.
During Friday’s hearing, defense attorney Jason Heath asked for Vangel to be released on bail so that he could be admitted to the Wellspring substance abuse rehabilitation center in Bangor.
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said the victim lives in Bangor and is afraid that Vangel could walk away from the facility if he was allowed to go there and could injure or kill her.
Stokes praised the Wellspring program but said he listened to a recording of a telephone call made by Vangel from the jail to the victim. The judge said the call was frightening and that releasing Vangel would pose too great a risk.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.