NEWPORT CITY -- A Barton man who rammed his wife's alleged lover with his car in a fit of jealousy is charged with a felony count of aggravated assault.
Defendant Joseph Maher, 32, waived arraignment Tuesday in Orleans Superior Court-Criminal Division and thus has not entered a plea or been subject to bail or conditions of release yet.
But Judge Timothy Tomasi found probable cause for the charge.
Maher allegedly rammed 40-year-old Armand St. Onge while Maher's children - ages one and three - were in the vehicle. He then allegedly beat St. Onge, causing serious injuries.
According to Newport City Police officer Richard Wells' affidavit, St. Onge went to the Newport station Oct. 17 to report the assault, which took place in the parking lot behind Lago Trattoria Oct. 16.
St. Onge's face was swollen, and he had two black eyes, Wells wrote. One of St. Onge's eyes was swollen shut due to his injuries, the affidavit said.
St. Onge said he and his friend William Leavens went out for a pizza that evening. When they left, Leavens headed toward Coventry Street, where he'd parked his truck, and St. Onge and Bethany Maher, 28, walked down Central Street to retrieve her car.
That's when a car came up from behind them, hit St. Onge, and knocked him to the ground, Wells wrote.
While St. Onge was still on the ground, Joseph Maher allegedly started punching him.
"I asked him how he knew Joesph and he stated that he and Joesph's wife had been having some stuff going on," Wells wrote.
St. Onge wrote in his statement that Joseph Maher had threatened in the past to slit his throat.
St. Onge said Joseph Maher had his two children in the car at the time, which Maher confirmed in a text message to St. Onge, apologizing for his behavior.
Leavens confirmed the account provided to police by St. Onge.
St. Onge said he went home that night, but went to the hospital the next morning, where he found out he had a broken finger, a broken eye socket, scrapes all over, and a swollen eye that required antibiotics as well as a follow-up visit with an eye specialist.
On Oct. 22, St. Onge provided Wells with text messages that Joseph Maher sent the day after the assault. "I'm sure I'm the last person u want to hear from right now but I feel the need to tell u how incredibly terrible I feel about my actions last night," Maher wrote.
"These last two months have been the absolute wort of my life. I went there to have a chance at confronting the two of you together but I was not strong enough to do so. I snapped," Maher wrote.
"Anyone who knows me will tell u I am not a violent person but when I saw the two of you together I lost all control. I feel like the biggest piece of sh** on the planet as my two young children were in the car to witness the events," Maher wrote.
"I do not send this as a plea for you to not press charges. What I did was unspeakable and if need be I will own up to my actions," he continued.
Wells' attempts to speak with both Mahers were unsuccessful until Oct. 23, when Joseph Maher went to the station to be cited. He declined to speak with police about the events.
No hearing took place on the record Tuesday, when Maher was due to be arraigned, but State's Attorney Alan Franklin and defense attorney Corby Gary spoke with Tomasi at length in chambers.
After which, Franklin said he could only confirm that Maher had waived arraignment.
The assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.