Man Charged, Jailed in Claremont Stabbing

Eric Sanborn, 24, of Claremont is arraigned by remote camera in Claremont yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

Eric Sanborn, 24, of Claremont is arraigned by remote camera in Claremont yesterday. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Purchase photo reprints »

Claremont — A Claremont man convicted of first-degree assault six years ago is facing the same felony charge in connection with a stabbing in the parking lot of Wal-Mart Monday night.

Eric Sanborn, 24, was arraigned in circuit court in Claremont yesterday afternoon and remains held without bail at the Sullivan County House of Corrections. Sanborn appeared before Judge Jack Yazinski via video from the Unity jail. Yazinski did not enter a plea on Sanborn’s behalf and scheduled a probable cause hearing on Jan. 17.

Sanborn, who is on parole from his March 2007 conviction, did not speak at the arraignment.

He also faces a second felony charge of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.

According to authorities, Sanborn allegedly stabbed Peter Ilnicki in the chest during an altercation involving several people that began inside the store. Ilnicki, who spoke to police at the scene, was treated at Valley Regional Hospital. Police said in a news release “there is no information that the injury is life threatening.”

Corporal Brent Wilmot, in his affidavit filed with the court, gave the following account of the events leading to the charges against Sanborn:

Police were called to the big box store around 6 p.m. for a fight in progress involving several people. Upon arrival, Wilmot spotted two men, one shirtless, who later turned out to be Sanborn, fighting near the grocery side entrance. As Wilmot approached, they started running away with Sanborn being chased by the other man. Several people pointed to the shirtless man and said, “It’s that guy.”

Wilmot chased the man without a shirt, quickly caught and tackled him and immediately recognized him as Sanborn because of prior incidents. Sanborn was handcuffed and placed in the cruiser.

At about the same time, the man who was chasing Sanborn, identified as Nicholas Lohman, and another man, Joseph Ilnicki, came over and began yelling at Sanborn about having stabbed their brother and then throwing a knife on the ground before being apprehended.

Police recovered a knife from under the tire of a pick-up truck. Wilmot described it as a “Husky box cutter-style knife.”

Joseph Ilnicki told Wilmot he was inside Wal-Mart with his brothers, Lohman and Peter Ilnicki, when he told several people who were using foul language to “curb their inappropriate behavior in a public place.”

Once they got outside the store, Sanborn joined the other group and Joseph Ilnicki said they began “trash talking” and “running their mouth” to each other. At that point, Sanborn confronted Peter Ilnicki and allegedly stabbed him with a knife.

Lohman told Wilmot, the police officer, he never witnessed the stabbing but when Peter Ilnicki lifted his shirt, he saw blood. That is when Lohman chased Sanborn, tackled him and they began fighting. Shortly thereafter, police arrived.

Peter Ilnicki told Wilmot that he never saw the knife in Sanborn’s hand but after the accused pushed him in the chest, he “felt something warm dripping down his chest and pulled up his shirt to discover he had been stabbed.”

Ilnicki told police no one else had any physical contact with him. He also told police he did not know Sanborn and never had any contact with him prior to the incident.

Wilmot described the wound as “not only long but it was very deep as well.”

In court yesterday, police prosecutor Tony Shepherd told Judge Yazinski that the knife wound was “almost down to the muscle.”

Based on the interviews at the scene, what he witnessed, the wound and evidence recovered, Wilmot said there was probable cause to charge Sanborn with felony assault.

Police did not provide the ages or addresses of those interviewed at the scene.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at


This article has been amended to correct an earlier error. The following correction ran in the Thursday, Jan. 10 edition of the Valley News:

Eric Sanborn, a Claremont man facing a first-degree assault charge in connection with a stabbing in the Wal-Mart parking lot Monday, is 24 years old. An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect age for Sanborn.