NORRISTOWN – One day after he admitted to stabbing his girlfriend in the back during a domestic dispute, a Royersford man saw his bail revoked for violating orders to stay away from the woman.
Matthew Harmon, 60, of the 200 block of Main Street, was handcuffed and sent to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on Friday by Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy after a brief hearing at which authorities alleged Harmon violated two previous court orders prohibiting him from having contact with the woman he stabbed.
“He flagrantly violated two no contact orders,” said Assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks, referring to a May 9 order by District Court Judge Walter F. Gadzicki Jr. and a July 17 order by Demchick-Alloy to stay away from the victim.
“There is an underlying violent episode where the victim was stabbed,” added Brooks, who argued that Harmon’s bail should be revoked. “I think it’s highly appropriate, under the circumstances. I think it (should be revoked) for the most important reason of all, to prevent further violence and possibly a homicide.”
Royersford police testified Friday that they observed the victim at Harmon’s residence in the late evening hours of July 17. The victim was not in court during Friday’s hearing.
On Thursday, Harmon pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, admitting that he stabbed the woman with a steak knife during a domestic dispute in the early morning hours of April 27 in the Main Street residence. Harmon, who is represented by defense lawyer Dennis Caglia, faces a possible maximum sentence of five-to-10 years in prison on the charge when he’s sentenced later this year.
The victim appeared at the hearing on Thursday to ask the judge to lift the court order barring Harmon from having contact with her. But the judge refused, saying she was concerned for the woman’s safety and that Harmon can’t be trusted to be near the woman.
Brooks, who leads the district attorney’s domestic violence prosecution division, opposed the victim’s request to lift the no contact order, characterizing Harmon’s relationship with the woman as “toxic.”
“We’re going to protect her and we did not believe that was in her best interest,” Brooks said.
Brooks said it’s not the first time she has seen domestic violence victims want to continue having contact with their abusers.
“It is something that I have seen. I’m also under the belief that frequently victims don’t realize the kind of danger that they’re in. They’re so close to the situation that they don’t understand that it can potentially turn violent in a second,” said Brooks.
While Harmon remained free on $50,000 unsecured bail after pleading guilty on Thursday, the judge scheduled a hearing for Friday to gather more information from police about reports that Harmon and the victim might have been together on Wednesday, in violation of the previous stay away orders.
Testimony also revealed police had responded to the Royersford residence in the past to quell domestic-related disturbances.
The woman suffered a laceration, between 2- and 3-inches in length, on her lower right back and was treated at Paoli Hospital after the April 27 assault, police said. Authorities found the steak knife under a couch in the Royersford residence.
The woman told police Harmon stabbed her during an argument and as she tried to leave the residence, according to the arrest affidavit filed by Royersford Police Officer Kyle Heffernan.
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