Former inmate charged with stabbing woman
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A forensic team of the state police gather evidence at the scene of a stabbing early Monday morning at 626 Coal St., Lehighton.
A Lehighton man, just released from jail and on probation, has been charged with stabbing a borough woman.
Edward S. Barrett Jr., 39, of 270 S. Seventh St., faces charges of aggravated assault (two counts), simple assault, and possessing instruments of crime.
He was arraigned before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe, and jailed under $500,000 straight cash bail.
According to an affidavit filed by Lehighton Officer Derek Solt, here's what happened:
At 3:56 a.m. Monday, Officer Matt Arner was dispatched to 626 Coal St. for an assault that had just taken place. While responding, he was advised that the female victim, later identified as Melissa Coffin, was bleeding profusely and had been stabbed. She was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Upon arrival, Officer Arner observed a gash wound across the right side of Coffin's throat. He also saw a gaping wound on her lower abdomen on the right side. There was blood on her pants.
Coffin told police that Barrett had entered her home and stabbed her. Coffin's son told Arner that he had been sleeping upstairs when he heard screaming.
He heard his mother scream "you stabbed me!". He ran downstairs and saw Barrett standing in the kitchen.
The boy asked Barrett what happened, and Barrett replied, "I did something bad to your Mom."
The boy noticed blood on the floor and went outside to check on his mother. He saw her leaving in her car; Barrett walked away.
Barrett was found and taken to the Lehighton police station. Solt advised him of his Miranda rights. Barrett said he understood them and agreed to talk about the matter.
Barrett told Solt Coffin had stabbed herself, that he did not stab her.
Solt was also contacted by a Judy Schaeffer, the owner of the property at 626 Coal St. She told him she had told Barrett he was not allowed at the house.