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East Helena man charged with stabbing grandmother

East Helena man charged with stabbing grandmother

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Maurice Austin

Maurice Austin makes his initial court appearance via video conference Thursday. 

A 19-year-old East Helena man was arrested after his grandmother was stabbed 10 times, suffering a collapsed lung and possibly other life-threatening injuries Wednesday night. 

Maurice Charles Austin has been charged with felony attempted deliberate homicide. 

Officers were dispatched to a home in the the 100 block of Clinton Street in East Helena shortly after 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, after the woman called 911. Authorities determined that she was sitting on the couch when the suspect came up behind her and stabbed her multiple times, and they found a bloody fixed-blade knife in the driveway. 

Austin's uncle told authorities the suspect came to his house in the 3000 block of Valley Drive and said he hurt his grandmother, but he did not know how badly or if she was OK. Deputies responded to that address and found Austin with blood on his hands and forearms. 

After being arrested and taken to the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center, Austin told authorities he was recently laid off and was constantly arguing with his grandmother about paying bills. He told authorities he remembered grabbing a knife off the shelf after coming inside from working on his vehicle, but he was vague about what happened next because he blacked out. 

The woman was initially taken to St. Peter's Health in Helena and then flown to Benefis in Great Falls early Thursday, where she underwent surgery. She was listed in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton told The Associated Press. 

Austin appeared in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court Thursday and was given a bond of $50,000 and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.


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