SKOWHEGAN — The lawyer for a Unity man who allegedly threatened his family while referencing Steven Lake, who killed his wife and children in Dexter in 2011, says the reference will make his client’s case more difficult.
Mark Dodge, 40, pleaded not guilty to eight domestic violence charges July 9 and is being held at the Somerset County Jail on $25,000 cash bail or $100,000 property bond. He allegedly threatened his family with a knife May 5, telling one of them to choose which child would be killed first.
Dodge’s court-appointed attorney, Phil Mohlar, said Tuesday that the Lake murders were “so horrific that the mere mention of it puts a spin on any case that it’s associated with.”
Dodge allegedly told a woman in the home that he had worked with Lake, 37, of Harmony, who in June 2011 shot Amy Bagley Lake, 38, and their two children, 12-year-old Monica and 13-year-old Coty, at their home in Dexter. He later turned the gun on himself.
“Go figure,” Dodge told the woman, according to a police affidavit filed in court. “The wife and kids get a bridge named after them, and Steven gets nothing and it was not his fault.”
Mohlar said, “This is very different from that, but certainly that name associated with it creates a real problem.”
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said last month that Dodge’s remarks were “especially terrifying” as cases of domestic violence continue to rise in Somerset County.
Mohlar said Dodge faces an uphill battle when his case goes to court, given the fact that he allegedly invoked the name of Lake as he threatened family members with a knife.
Mohlar said Dodge has untreated substance abuse and mental health issues.
Mohlar said while Dodge has a record, the charges he faces involve “all kinds of threats,” but said it “was all terrorizing and no actual physical violence in terms of harm or assaults or anything else.”
According to a court affidavit filed by Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Avery, Dodge was highly intoxicated May 5 when he punched holes in walls and broke items in the kitchen before threatening four members of his family with a knife. The affidavit doesn’t specify the relationship between Dodge and the family members.
Dodge, according to the affidavit, also told the family members that no one was going to leave the house alive that night. He allegedly ordered one of his victims to start picking which child for him to kill first.
Dodge was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury in June on four counts of domestic violence criminal threatening with a weapon and four counts of domestic violence terrorizing.
Dodge has a history of burglary, assault, violating the conditions of release and criminal mischief dating back to 2000.
He pleaded guilty to assault charges in 2011 and was sentenced to six months in jail. He also served seven days of a 180-day suspended sentence for assault in 2008.
His case has been continued until July 30.