BELFAST, Maine — A man accused of attempted murder in an altercation that eventually led to him being shot by a state trooper was indicted by the Waldo County grand jury, which rose Thursday.
Matthew A. Sylvester, 24, of Searsport was indicted on charges of attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault, both Class A felonies, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
The court documents charge that “Sylvester did intentionally attempt to cause the death of Richard Brown by shooting Richard Brown with a Glock .40 caliber handgun.”
Sylvester allegedly shot Brown, 41, of Frankfort during an altercation in North Searsport on Dec. 17, 2009. Sylvester was arrested Dec. 17 after being treated for a gunshot wound to the arm, according to police. He was shot by Trooper Corey Smith a short time after the first shooting.
According to a document prepared by Detective Scott Bryant, three men, including Sylvester and Brown, were drinking in mid-December and called a female friend for a ride home. According to police interviews with witnesses, Sylvester used to date the female driver.
The document states that the woman said Sylvester and Brown were sitting in the back seats of her Jeep. During the drive, Brown pulled out a knife and Sylvester tried to get out of the car.
“[The woman] said Matthew said Richard told him that he was going to slit him open. She said she did not hear Richard say that,” the report states.
The woman stopped the truck and Sylvester got out. Brown also got out after a battle with the truck door’s lock.
“She saw Matthew lower a gun on Richard,” the report states. “She heard two shots and Richard fell with a gunshot wound.”
The third man, who was in the passenger seat of the car, told police that Sylvester was approximately 15 feet from Brown “when he fired 3-5 times at him. [The man] said Richard was shot in the abdomen,” Bryant wrote.
After the shooting, Sylvester was driven to the home he shares with his father on Porter Street. Trooper Smith went to the house to investigate the shooting and shot Smith in the driveway while trying to arrest him. Smith was not injured.
Sylvester’s criminal history indicates he was convicted in November 2006 of trafficking in scheduled drugs and carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but six months suspended and fined $400. In December 2006 he was sentenced to three days in jail for violating conditions of release. In March 2007 he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating conditions of release.
Richard Brown is not listed as having a criminal record in Maine. He was hospitalized at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for several days after the shooting. He is no longer at the hospital and efforts to determine his medical condition on Friday were unsuccessful.
Sylvester is being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail with bail set at $250,000 cash, according to jail officials. His arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, according to court documents.