MACHIAS, Maine — Corey Townsend, 18, one of five Baileyville people charged in a brawl with a group of Indian Township boys and men in August 2007, lost the appeal of his conviction in the case Tuesday before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
The Law Court affirmed Townsend’s conviction Tuesday morning for criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. Townsend also was convicted of assault.
Coincidentally, two of the other men charged in the same incident — Sean MacArthur, 22, and Adam Casey, 26 — are on trial this week in Machias Superior Court. They are charged with two counts each of aggravated assault with a club, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.
Testimony heard Tuesday before a jury and Justice E. Allen Hunter included accounts of the fight from victims, who told of their fear when surrounded by a group of men and boys with weapons, and how they ran through backyards to escape what they believed was going to be a beating. Two of the Indian men were injured in the fight.
Townsend was one of five Baileyville males charged with confronting five Indian Township youths in a credit union parking lot. The others were MacArthur, Casey, David Townsend, 21, and Nicholas James, 18, their ages at the time of the incident. Corey Townsend was 17 at the time.
The victims were Indian males, whose ages at the time were 13, 14, 15, 16 and 20.
Corey Townsend was convicted of leading several cars to the parking lot, aware that they were carrying weapons, and singling out one Indian youth and tackling him to the ground. The victim was kicked in the eye, and a second youth from Indian Township was injured when he came to the first boy’s aid.
The Law Court documents that were available Tuesday indicated that although Townsend did not use a weapon during any portion of the incident, he was guilty of accomplice liability.
The documents state that on the evening of Aug. 19, 2007, the five Indian Township males were gathered in a credit union parking lot in Baileyville.
The victims testified in the Machias court Tuesday that they were approached by a group of people, began talking and did not feel threatened by this first group.
At that point, Townsend pulled up in a vehicle, spoke to the larger group and drove away, according to the documents.
Townsend went to a brother’s home nearby and then returned to the parking lot, followed by his brother David Townsend and several other people in different vehicles. Some of those people were carrying sticks, boards and a metal instrument.
When the group arrived back at the parking lot, according to documents, James yelled, “Come on, let’s get the Indians.”
The group allegedly surrounded the Indian Township boys and forced one away from his friends. Corey Townsend tackled the boy and during a fistfight between the two, the victim was kicked in the eye. Another Indian youth was struck in the head and arm with a stick, suffering cuts and bruises. After several minutes of fight-ing, Townsend got back into his car and left and the rest of the crowd dispersed.
The Indian males ran to a nearby home and sought aid.
Tuesday’s ruling by the Law Court stated that Townsend orchestrated the altercation and failed to take steps to avoid the use of weapons once he had knowledge they were brought to the scene.
The court upheld Townsend’s original conviction, which resulted in 30 days at a juvenile detention facility, with all but five days suspended, and one year of probation.
In February of this year, David Townsend and James pleaded guilty to assault charges and received suspended five-year sentences for their part in the fight. David Townsend also was sentenced to one year in jail and two years probation. He is still incarcerated, pending a hearing on an alleged probation violation.
James was sentenced to nine months in jail and two years of probation on charges of assault and burglary. Six months of his probation were to be served under house arrest.
In a separate legal action after the incident, the five defendants signed consent orders under the Maine Civil Rights Act which barred them from having contact with the victims and required them to refrain from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act. The orders were issued by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.
The defendants agreed to the court order by signing consent decrees, but under the decrees, the defendants did not admit to committing the threats or assaults or otherwise violating the Maine Civil Rights Act.
Under the order, any future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act by the defendants will be prosecutable as a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
MacArthur and Casey’s trial is expected to wrap up today.