Nichole C. Elsea

Nichole C. Elsea is seen in her booking mugshot. (BERLIN POLICE PHOTO)

MADISON — A Berlin woman has been charged in connection with a violent Christmas Day melee which left a woman with a laceration on her back and another woman with an eye injury.

Nichole C. Elsea, 24, of Berlin turned herself in to the Berlin Police Department on an arrest warrant stemming from an incident at 560 Plains Road in Madison on Dec. 25, 2019, Madison Police Chief Robert King said Tuesday.

Elsea was charged with second-degree assault (Class B felony) for attacking a woman with a sharp instrument, resulting in an approximately 7-inch laceration.

She also was charged with reckless conduct (Class B felony) for engaging in a fight using a sharp instrument, and simple assault (Class A misdemeanor) for striking someone in the face.

Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius on Jan. 16 ordered Elsea held on $10,000 bond.

Elsea is scheduled to have a status conference March 12.

Because of the felony level of the offenses, the case was referred to the Carroll County Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

King had told the Sun last December that “an ongoing assault” was reported at the Madison residence.

He said the injured woman was 18 years old and that a 39-year-old woman also sustained an eye injury.

Both refused medical treatment at the scene but said they would have relatives take them to the hospital.

“It seemed to be a group fight, if you will,” said King.

“It started with a verbal altercation and escalated into a physical altercation, and as the physical altercation progressed, more people became involved,” the chief said.

Details of the case are outlined in a probable cause affidavit by Madison Police Lt. Jim Hayford. He said he responded to the Plains Road residence after Karyn Johnston reported an assault took place while she was hosting a Christmas party.

She said while the party was going on, her ex-boyfriend’s mother, Donna Sharp, came to the door seeking items belonging to Sharp’s son, Jason Shackford of Tamworth. With her was a woman identified as Elsea.

“A disagreement and physical altercation ensued, and Karyn was struck above her left eye causing a laceration,” said Hayford. “Another female, later identified as Nichole Elsea, got out of the vehicle and joined the altercation.”

Johnston said the dispute began when she got into a fight with Sharp and then Elsea punched her in the face. Johnston also said Elsea punched her (Johnston’s) 16-year-old daughter.

During his investigation, Hayford found that Johnston’s son’s girlfriend, Alli Scott, suffered a 7-inch laceration on her back during the altercation.

Scott told police in a written statement that the dispute was over Shackford’s clothing, including a pair of shoes.

Scott said: “The girl Nichole punched (the 16 year old) in the face twice, who was right next to me and started charging in, so I started pushing her without hitting her and she started fighting me.”

Scott said the fight lasted about a minute.

“We ended up across the yard. At some point, she sliced me, but I was so worked up I didn’t notice until someone saw after they left and police came,” Scott said.

Tamworth police officer Karl Koch, who assisted with the investigation, received a written statement from Sharp. Tamworth police became involved because Shackford lives in that town.

Koch found Sharp at Shackford’s residence. Sharp said she went to the house to retrieve her son’s things “after getting tons of texts from Karyn.”

Sharp said Johnston assaulted her first.

Sharp said she brought Elsea, whom she described as “someone from my son’s house,” to help her carry her son’s belongings to the truck.

Hayford reportedly had difficulty getting Elsea on the phone. So he asked Berlin police’s assistance in getting in touch with her. Berlin police went to Elsea’s place of employment, which was not named in the affidavit. There, Sgt. Josh White overheard Elsea telling her boss, “Well, see you in 10 years.”

“Lt. Hayford told Sgt. White that statement sounded like something a guilty person would say after being caught,” said Hayford in his affidavit.

On Dec. 26, Hayford spoke to Elsea, who told him she went to a residence with Sharp and ”was jumped by 15 people” and “had bruises all over her body.”

Hayford invited Elsea several times to talk but she said she had a lot of personal issues, he said.

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