Princeton man found guilty of domestic violence

Posted Oct. 31, 2009, at 1:53 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Donald Newell of Princeton pleaded guilty Friday to domestic violence, a Class B burglary and violations of both a protection order and his conditions of release, but it was his ex-girlfriend’s behavior that really caught the attention of Justice E. Allen Hunter.

After venting her fear, anger and frustration, the victim refused to be quiet. She repeatedly interrupted both the judge and Newell’s attorney during proceedings in Washington County Superior Court.

Hunter warned the woman several times that her behavior was disrupting the proceedings and that her language was inappropriate for a courtroom but finally had a bailiff escort her from the hearing.

She continued to shout as she left the room and was brought down the stairs to the first floor.

Newell pleaded guilty to all four counts for events that took place at about 2:45 a.m. June 22, 2009. First District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh said Newell broke into the victim’s home in Princeton, broke a window and tore a door off its hinges.

The victim ran to a nearby gas station and called police. Cavanaugh said Newell’s conduct violated a protection order and bail conditions placed on him after an earlier incident in May 2009.

In a rambling statement to the judge, punctuated by profanity and at times shouted, the victim said Newell broke six windows during the May incident. “He was cut severely and there was blood throughout the house,” she said. She said she had taken care of Newell for two years but that they had never lived together.

Newell has been in custody since the incident in June.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, with all but six months suspended, and two years probation, all for the domestic violence charge, and six months each on the violation charges, to be served concurrently with the longer sentence.

He was also ordered to pay $1,000 restitution for damage to one window and a door. There was confusion about an estimate provided to the court for $2,800 to fix the damage.

Newell’s attorney, Jeffrey Davidson of East Machias, said the estimate had been provided by a contractor who was having an ongoing romantic relationship with the victim.

The victim, however, told the judge that the contractor had recently fired a weapon at her and they were no longer involved.

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