Eddington man who assaulted wife pleads no contest to misdemeanor

During a recess at Penobscot Superior Court, Ryan Witmer of Eddington briefly turns toward the gallery behind him while conferring with his defense team — Portland attorneys Daniel Lilley (left, standing) and Darrick Banda (seated, right) on Oct. 26, 2009. Lilley and Banda were not representing Witmer at the time of the thefts.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
During a recess at Penobscot Superior Court, Ryan Witmer of Eddington briefly turns toward the gallery behind him while conferring with his defense team — Portland attorneys Daniel Lilley (left, standing) and Darrick Banda (seated, right) on Oct. 26, 2009. Lilley and Banda were not representing Witmer at the time of the thefts.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 10:44 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — An Eddington man pleaded no contest Tuesday to stealing money from his former business while he was defending himself against aggravated attempted murder and assault charges during 2008.

The more serious charges were dropped, but Ryan Witmer, 34, was convicted in November 2009 of assaulting his estranged wife and violating a protection order she had against him. He is serving a four-year sentence at Maine State Prison in Warren.

Witmer wrote five checks between July 2 and 15, 2008, totaling $47,000 from a Mortgage Marketing Solutions LLC checkbook and was charged with felony theft by unauthorized taking.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said Tuesday that Witmer received a nine-month sentence on the misdemeanor count of misuse of entrusted property to run concurrent with the sentence he’s currently serving .

Mortgage Marketing Solutions, which formerly was located in Bangor but no longer exists, was owned by Witmer and a partner, who was not identified.

Because he was a co-owner, Witmer also was sentenced by District Court Judge Jessie B. Gunther to pay $15,000 in restitution, the prosecutor said.

Witmer was accused of breaking into the Orrington home he previously had shared with his then-estranged wife and attacking her and her boyfriend late on the evening of June 28, 2008.

The boyfriend, who has a black belt in tae kwan do, a Korean self-defense art, suffered 11 stab wounds to his back while protecting Witmer’s wife, according to court documents.

She had taken out a protection order to keep him away from her. She suffered superficial cuts to her forearms during the attack, court documents state.

A Penobscot County jury found Witmer not guilty of aggravated attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and burglary after a 5½-day trial, but found him guilt of assaulting his estranged wife and breaking the protection order.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson sentenced Witmer, who had no prior criminal record, to four years in prison. The 16 months Witmer was held without bail at Penobscot County Jail while awaiting trial was applied toward his sentence, and since the theft by unauthorized taking sentence issued Tuesday is concurrent, he should be released from prison in about 18 months.

Witmer and his wife are divorced and she and the man who was stabbed have married. Earlier this year, they filed a lawsuit in Penobscot County Superior Court against Witmer seeking unspecified damages. That case is pending.

CORRECTION:

A photo caption on an earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that attorneys Daniel Lilley and Darrick Banda of Portland represented Witmer at the time he allegedly stole money to pay legal fees. The alleged thefts occurred in July 2008. Lilley and Witmer did not begin representing Witmer until February 2009.

A previous version of this article contained errors. Witmer entered a no contest plea to the misdemeanor charge of misuse of entrusted property. There was no evidence presented on Tuesday to suggest that Witmer used the money for payment of any legal fees. Any suggestion in the article that attorneys Daniel Lilley and Darrick Banda received money from Witmer which came from the July 2008 withdrawals from Mortgage Marketing Solutions LLC, was erroneous. Lilley and BBanda did not begin representing Witmer until February 2009.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/02/15/news/bangor/eddington-man-stole-money-to-pay-for-his-defense-in-assault-trial/ printed on July 29, 2014