By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter
A man arrested after allegedly stabbing a woman multiple times March 15 in the Holmes Beach apartment they shared with another man now faces additional charges after the victim reported finding a homemade weapon in the apartment.
Andrew Helderman, 23, 300 block of Clark Drive, now faces new charges of making or discharging a destructive device and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon in addition to the charges of aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder.
The initial second-degree attempted murder charge was dropped March 31 and replaced with the first-degree attempted murder charge because officials now believe the attack on the victim was premeditated, court documents state.
Helderman also injured his male roommate in the March 15 attack.
The attorney representing Helderman, Franklin Roberts, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and requested a jury trial.
According to the HBPD police report, the 31-year-old victim discovered the “bangstick” — capable of firing a 12-gauge shotgun round — while moving out of the apartment.
She was released from the hospital after recovering from a series of lacerations she suffered during the stabbing. She is planning a move to Tampa.
HBPD Officer Steve Ogline stopped by the apartment March 20 when he noticed the tailgate of a vehicle parked at the residence was open.
The woman showed Ogline a weapon that, according to police, Helderman built only a few days before he attacked her.
She said Helderman had showed it to her and fired it at least once into a wooded area across the street from the apartment.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office assisted the HBPD in determining if the device was operational.
It is made of metal tubing, vacuum cleaner parts and electrical tape, and was determined to be capable of firing a bullet when packed with gunpowder, according to the report.
Helderman is a felon who served six years in prison in Glades County. He was convicted of battery on a detention officer, false imprisonment, criminal mischief, grand theft auto, escape from a juvenile detention facility and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is prohibited from owning a gun.
Helderman is being held at the Manatee County jail on a $174,000 bond.
According to the court website, the arraignment scheduled for April 11 at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, was continued.