Man changes plea in voter fraud case

Delmer Terrill of Newburgh leaves a Penobscot Judicial Center courtroom after his arraignment Thursday morning. Terrill was indicted in February by the Penobscot County grand jury on a charge of voter fraud in the November 2009 election.  (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS)



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Delmer Terrill of Newburgh leaves a Penobscot Judicial Center courtroom following his arraignment Thursday morning, April 8, 2010. Terrill was indicted in February by the Penobscot County grand jury on charges of voter fraud in the the November 2009 election.  BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
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Delmer Terrill of Newburgh leaves a Penobscot Judicial Center courtroom after his arraignment Thursday morning. Terrill was indicted in February by the Penobscot County grand jury on a charge of voter fraud in the November 2009 election. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS) CAPTION Delmer Terrill of Newburgh leaves a Penobscot Judicial Center courtroom following his arraignment Thursday morning, April 8, 2010. Terrill was indicted in February by the Penobscot County grand jury on charges of voter fraud in the the November 2009 election. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
Posted June 11, 2010, at 12:10 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Newburgh man who admitted voting twice on Election Day last November pleaded guilty Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to the misdemeanor charge of making a false statement or oath.

Delmer Terrill, 65, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 13. He remains free on personal recognizance bail.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office agreed to drop the more serious charge of voting twice in the same election in exchange for Terrill’s guilty plea.

Terrill was indicted on both charges by the Penobscot County grand jury in February and pleaded not guilty in April.

He is expected to be sentenced to 12 days in jail but will be able to serve it through the alternative sentencing program run in Penobscot County by Volunteers of America. Instead of spending the time behind bars, Terrill will spend eight days in October at Camp Roosevelt in Eddington preparing the Boy Scout camp for winter.

The alternative sentencing program allows nonviolent offenders and defendants convicted of a second drunken driving offense or operating after suspension of a driver’s license to serve their time doing community service projects.

District Court Judge Jessie Gunther said Friday that she would impose the alternative sentence in August once she receives verification from Volunteers of America that Terrill has been accepted into the program.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin on Friday told the judge that in November Terrill was in the process of moving from Dixmont to Newburgh because of a divorce. He voted in Dixmont, then went to Newburgh to register his car. The clerk there handed him a voter registration card and a ballot. He registered and voted without telling election officials he already had voted in Dixmont.

The charge of swearing a false oath, according to Robbin, stemmed from Terrill’s vote in Dixmont. Town officials there believed he had moved out of town, so removed him from the voter registration rolls. Because he did not offer proof of address on Nov. 3, 2009, Terrill swore to election clerks that he still lived in Dixmont.

Terrill was the first person in Maine to be charged with voter fraud since the 1970s, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

November’s ballot included questions to repeal same-sex marriage, expand medical marijuana laws, endorse a taxpayers’ bill of rights and repeal the school consolidation law.

If he had been convicted of voting twice, a Class C crime, he would have faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Terrill faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 on the Class D charge to which he pleaded guilty.

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