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February 5, 2013

Amesbury man faces attempted murder charge

NEWBURYPORT — An Amesbury man accused of almost stabbing a female acquaintance to death with a kitchen knife last September was arraigned on attempted murder and other charges at Salem Superior Court last week and continues to be held without bail pending a second dangerousness hearing scheduled for Feb. 12.

Shawn A. McDermit, 41, of 35 Macy Terrace was charged with attempted murder, mayhem, domestic assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after allegedly stabbing a woman in the face and trying to suffocate her with a pillow. When police arrived at his apartment, McDermit admitted trying to kill the victim, but lamented not using a sharper knife, according to local police.

An Essex County District Attorney’s office spokesperson said Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu ordered McDermit held without bail following his Jan. 23 arraignment. The original charges filed in Newburyport District Court were dismissed following his arraignment in Salem, the spokesperson added.

A dangerousness hearing, also called a 58A hearing, is held to determine whether a suspect is considered too much of a risk to society or the victim to be granted bail.

His son, Kennith S. McDermit, 19, who was accused of threatening to finish the job his father started, was also arrested as a result of the incident and charged with threatening to commit murder, threatening to commit assault and battery, assault and intimidation of a witness. Those charges were dismissed in early November at the victim’s request.

Several police officers responded to the scene of the alleged attack, which occurred on Saturday, Sept. 8, around 10 p.m. According to reports, police found the victim lying on the floor of the living room pressing a towel to her face to staunch the flow of blood, which was visible on her clothes, towel and skin.

Police said Shawn McDermit was sitting in a living room smoking a cigarette. Police immediately handcuffed the suspect and walked him to the hallway. It is there that he allegedly told police he should have used a sharper knife.

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