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Assemblywoman charged with stabbing husband in arm

Assemblywoman Francis Allen was arrested Saturday and faces a felony charge on allegations that she stabbed her husband in the arm with a steak knife, according to a police report on the incident.

Allen, R-Las Vegas, is charged with battery domestic violence with use of a deadly weapon, a felony carrying a potential penalty of two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. No court date has been scheduled.

Allen's husband of a month and a half, Paul Maineri, initially told police Allen stabbed him in the left forearm during an argument. He drove to Summerlin Hospital, where the wound required three stitches, according to the report.

Allen, 30, told police Maineri's wound was self-inflicted. Maineri subsequently told police that the stabbing was accidental and that he would recant his version of events to keep his wife from being arrested.

Allen was booked into the Clark County Detention Center upon being arrested, then released just before midnight Saturday after serving the mandatory 12 hours for a domestic violence charge and posting $3,000 bail, according to an official at the Clark County Detention Center who did not give her name.

District Attorney David Roger said his office was going forward with the charge.

"We look at all the facts and circumstances before deciding how to proceed with the case," he said.

Allen did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

In a statement, her lawyer, Richard A. Wright, said, "Francis Allen denies the allegations set forth in the criminal complaint filed today. At the appropriate time, the true facts will become known and she will be exonerated."

A two-term member of the Assembly, Allen last week filed her candidacy seeking a third term. Three other Republicans, a Democrat, a Libertarian and a member of the Independent American Party are running in Assembly District 4, located in the far northwestern valley.

According to the police report, police first interviewed Maineri at the hospital about 4 a.m. Saturday. He told them the couple had entertained friends at their home Friday night until about midnight.

After the company left, "they argued because she said that he had embarrassed her in front of their friends," according to the report.

"While arguing on the couch, Allen began pushing his forehead and caused a small scratch on his forehead with her wedding ring. They continued to argue and went into the kitchen. As the argument escalated he said he got very close to Allen and she then took a steak knife from the butcher's block with her right hand and stabbed him one time in the left forearm," the report states.

Allen locked herself in the bedroom, but Maineri forced his way in and asked her for help. "She refused and told him to call his mother," according to the report.

Allen then left the condo and Maineri drove to the hospital, taking with him the knife from the stabbing in a clear plastic bag, according to the report.

Allen told police Maineri had cut himself.

Upon being contacted by detectives, Maineri said Allen had only accidentally stabbed him. "Maineri was adamant that he did not want to get her in trouble and that he had been to jail and jail is a very bad place," according to the report.

"After finding out that Allen was going to be arrested," the report states, Maineri "said that he wanted to recant his story and give a taped statement now in which he would say that he stabbed himself if it would keep her from getting arrested."

The arrest is only the latest brush with controversy for Allen. Last month, Allen was the subject of an ethics complaint after she stopped payment on a check for more than $5,000 for flower arrangements at her wedding.

The florist, Cynthia Calhoun, said Allen expected vendors to provide free services at the wedding because of her position as a legislator. Allen said that the accusations were false and that she did not pay for the flowers because they were unsatisfactory.

Review-Journal writer David Kihara contributed to this report. Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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