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Pittsfield woman accused of stabbing husband with a kitchen knife

A 42-year-old Pittsfield woman has been indicted on two counts of first-degree assault, three months after she allegedly stabbed her husband in the back and chest with a kitchen knife.

Dawn Semple was indicted last month on the charges by a Merrimack County grand jury. She also faces dual misdemeanor counts of simple assault.

According to a police affidavit, Semple was found attacking the man early on the morning of Oct. 28. When an officer arrived at the home, he later wrote in the affidavit, Semple was standing over her husband in the driveway, knife in hand.

The officer, Clint Cassavaugh, ran out of his cruiser and disarmed Semple by stunning her with a Taser and kicking the weapon from her hand, according to the affidavit. Cassavaugh stunned her a second time when she refused to stop yelling and thrashing about, he said.

The husband was taken to Concord Hospital soon after and treated for flesh wounds. In an interview at the hospital with Cassavaugh, he said Semple woke him about 4 a.m. “by slapping him in the face and saying, ‘Lucky I didn’t kill you in your sleep.’ ”

The husband told Cassavaugh that he tried to leave but that Semple hit him with a lamp as he did, at which point he told her he was calling the police. Semple then pulled the knife – which was not further described – from between the couple’s mattress “and came at him,” according to the affidavit.

Semple was taken to Merrimack County jail and held on $40,000 cash bail. She has been directed to refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs, to enroll in an unspecified 28-day rehabilitation program and to have no contact with the husband.

Deputy County Attorney Catherine Ruffle, who is prosecuting the case, said yesterday that she does not believe Semple has posted bail. Messages left for Semple’s public defenders were not immediately returned.

According to her financial affidavit, Semple has been employed by SAU 53 in Pembroke. District officials could not be reached yesterday to verify her past or present employment with them.

Semple is scheduled to be arraigned in Merrimack County Superior Court on Jan. 15. A tentative trial date is set for September.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

Legacy Comments4

I know this person well and in the recent past and she was a respected member of the professional healthcare community. She has connected many many families with services to improve the quality of their lives. She is a caring individual that has clearly struggled based on this article. Not defending her ....just making a point. Good people sometimes make poor choices. Please remember this always.

Better yet, outlaw Pittsfield...

And if she had a gun he would be dead now--so that's the difference between using a gun and a knife

Expect efforts by democrats to outlaw kitchen knives

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