East Helena Man Charged With Stabbing His Grandmother
EAST HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An East Helena man has been charged with attempted deliberate homicide after his grandmother was stabbed 10 times, suffering a collapsed lung and other life-threatening injuries, Lewis and Clark County officials said.
Maurice Charles Austin, 19, made an initial appearance Thursday in Justice Court, where his bail was set at $50,000. He was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and applied for a public defender. He did not enter a plea. His arraignment in district court is set for late February.
Austin’s grandmother called 911 shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday to report Austin had come up behind her while she was sitting on the couch and stabbed her, the Independent Record reported.
The woman was taken to the hospital in Helena and was flown early Thursday to Benefis Healthcare in Great Falls, where she underwent surgery. She was listed in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit, Sheriff Leo Dutton told The Associated Press.
Authorities found a bloody knife in the victim’s driveway and discovered Austin with blood on his hands and forearms. His uncle told officers Austin reported that he hurt his grandmother, but he didn’t know how badly because he had blacked out, the sheriff’s office said.
Austin said he had recently been laid off from his job and he had been arguing with his grandmother about paying bills. He told investigators he remembered grabbing a knife off the shelf after coming inside from working on his vehicle, court records said.