ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Bucksport man has been convicted of criminal threatening in connection with an incident in February that resulted in a 4½-hour standoff with police.
Josh Amenkowicz, 32, pleaded guilty Friday in Hancock County Superior Court. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, charges of endangering the welfare of a child, terrorizing, assault and carrying a concealed weapon were dismissed against Amenkowicz.
With the guilty plea, Amenkowicz was sentenced by Justice E. Allen Hunter to serve 2½ years in jail with all but nine months suspended. The sentence means Amenkowicz will have to stay behind bars for another two months.
“He’s already got seven months in [the Hancock County Jail],” Amenkowicz’s attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth, said Friday.
Toothaker said it was his client’s decision to plead guilty to the Class C felony criminal threatening charge.
The incident occurred Feb. 3 at a Center Street home in Bucksport where Amenkowicz was living at the time.
According to court documents, Amenkowicz was armed with a rifle and threatened to shoot police after they went to the scene of a domestic dispute around 2:15 a.m. Two of Amenkowicz’s four children, who ranged in age from 2 to 10, were able to leave the building with their mother after local police arrived at the scene but the other two stayed behind with their father.
After evacuating a few neighboring homes, Bucksport police initiated contact with Amenkowicz by phone and talked to him on and off for about two hours. A Maine State Police tactical unit was assembled and arrived in Bucksport around 4 a.m. A negotiator with the tactical team made contact with Amenkowicz and, after another three hours, convinced the Bucksport man to give himself up peacefully.
Two guns, a shotgun and a rifle were found inside the home after Amenkowicz surrendered, police said at the time.
Mary Kellett, assistant Hancock County district attorney, said Friday that Amenkowicz will have to serve two years of probation upon his release, during which time he cannot possess firearms or possess or consume alcohol.
Toothaker said Amenkowicz would not be allowed to have any contact with his wife or the police officers he threatened. He will be allowed supervised visits with his children.
Kellett said there was a lot of evidence in the case that would have worked against Amenkowicz had he chosen to go to trial.
“He stepped forward and took responsibility,” Kellett said of his guilty plea.