AUGUSTA — An Augusta man was indicted Thursday on charges of aggravated assault in an attack last fall that left a fellow inmate at the Kennebec County jail severely wounded as well as a separate charge of threatening a woman in Augusta.

Those indictments and a number of others were handed up by the Kennebec County grand jury.

One aggravated assault charge alleges that Elijah L. Ashley, 21, caused “serious, permanent disfigurement or loss or substantial impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ” and carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The other says that Ashley caused injury that “created a substantial risk of death” or required an “extended convalescence” and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Both charges list Paul G. Gagnon, 48, of Augusta, as the victim of the Nov. 18 attack. Gagnon had been jailed Nov. 14 to serve a sentence for contempt for failing to pay child support.

Gagnon was discovered at 5:20 a.m. that day on the bottom bunk of his jail cell “injured badly, non-responsive and bleeding from the head,” wrote Detective John Bourque of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office in an affidavit filed with the court.

Ashley had been arrested Nov. 12 on a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after allegedly pointing a gun at people on Littlefield Street in Augusta.

He had remained in jail in lieu of $750 cash bail. The separate indictment handed up Thursday charges Ashley with criminal threatening with a firearm on Nov. 12 in Augusta and lists one woman as the victim.

Bourque’s affidavit says corrections officers were in the cell with Ashley and Gagnon at 3:05 a.m. Nov. 18 to clear a clogged toilet, and that Gagnon was snoring loudly with a blanket over his head. Bourque said corrections officers indicated this was normal because of the bright night lights in the cellblocks.

Bourque said Ashley told officers he had been “sleeping on the floor when Gagnon asked him to kill him.”

Ashley said he refused and that Gagnon then repeatedly smashed his own head on the floor. Ashley told officers he cleaned up the blood with a T-shirt and washed it. Ashley was found wearing a T-shirt with Gagnon’s name on it.

Ashley remains held at the Kennebec County jail.

Gagnon has been released from the hospital and is home, according to his mother, Diane Gagnon of Augusta. “We’ve been trying to get him brain injury rehabilitation,” Gagnon said Friday, adding that MaineCare has denied it, so the family is looking elsewhere for it.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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