PORTLAND – A Portland man who is charged with fatally stabbing an acquaintance Thursday night was on suicide watch in the Cumberland County Jail on Friday.

Police arrested Shawn Garland, 25, of 55 Grant St. immediately after finding the body of a middle-aged man who had been stabbed repeatedly in Garland’s apartment at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police said they have tentatively identified the victim but are not releasing his name until family members have been notified.

Garland, who a friend said was occasionally called by the nickname “Schizo Shawn,” was known as someone who was confrontational and had boasted that he was going to kill someone someday.

Garland had a samurai sword and was particularly proud of it, said Shawn Batchelder, who knows Garland.

The victim apparently was killed with a knife, not a sword, Police Chief James Craig said at a news conference Friday afternoon. Batchelder said Garland was known to carry a knife.

Craig said it appears that Garland and the man who died knew each other and the killing was not a random attack. Asked whether the men had been drinking together, Craig said he was not prepared to release details of the investigation.

A man who was sitting on a bench near the Preble Street day room Friday, who identified himself as Paul but did not want to give his last name, said Garland was often seen in that area.

He said Garland appeared to be drunk when he saw him at the Preble Street soup kitchen at lunchtime Thursday. He also said Garland was often loud and confrontational.

Others said Garland isn’t bad, and they were impressed that he had his own apartment and a job.

Garland’s criminal record includes convictions for three misdemeanor assaults, cruelty to animals and the felony of eluding an officer, as well as convictions for violating probation, all in Farmington. He served 120 days in jail in 2008 for assault, violating bail conditions and violating probation.

Garland is expected to appear in court in Portland next week.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]