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North Lawrence woman charged after stabbing husband

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NORTH LAWRENCE - A 42-year-old North Lawrence woman was sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility Monday after she was charged with stabbing her husband during a physical altercation on Sunday.

Massena-based state police charged Melissa A. Francis of Grove Street with a felony count of second-degree assault and a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Troopers said the charges stem from an investigation into a domestic dispute at Francis’s residence in which she allegedly stabbed her husband, Ervin E. III, in the upper left thigh with a paring knife. The victim was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment, they said.

Francis was arraigned by Lawrence Town Justice Wes Lincoln and sent to the St. Lawrence County jail with bail set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. She reappeared in court Tuesday morning and was released under the supervision of the probation department. The court also signed a temporary order protection directing Ms. Francis to stay away from Mr. Francis.

The couple offered dramatically different recollections of the altercation that took place in their kitchen Sunday evening. “I was cooking goulash, and we got into an argument about cooking food,” Mr. Francis told troopers.

He said during the argument his wife grabbed the paring knife he had been using to cut up meat for the goulash. “She was pissed because I was cooking dinner. She was going to stick me, so I leaned backwards to avoid her stabbing me in the head or chest. My leg came up, and she stabbed me in the left thigh,” Mr. Francis noted in the statement he reportedly signed for police.

He said his wife had also swung a knife at him approximately two weeks earlier during an argument. He said on that occasion her simply left and stayed away for as couple of hours to allow Ms. Francis to cool off before he returned home. Mr. Francis went to a friend’s shop after being stabbed Sunday night, and state police and Tri-Town Rescue were notified of the stabbing.

Ms. Francis, in the statement she provided police, said he had gone to visit her husband at his weekend workplace and they spent the afternoon drinking there. “We visited, and I had a few drinks, but my husband just kept drinking them fast, one after another,” she recalled in her statement.

She said somewhere between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. she asked him to return home with her because he was heavily intoxicated and wanted a ride home. She said he started cooking when they got home.

“We were both in the kitchen, and he said something to me, and I turned around and asked him what he said and he punched me in the mouth. The punch knocked me down, and I landed on the hardwood floor, striking my elbow. I was on the floor, and he was on top of me. We struggled. I tried to continually push him off, and he punched me in the nose. As he got off me, I saw he had a knife in his hand and it struck my foot, striking it,” Ms. Francis said in the statement she gave to police.

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