BAILEYVILLE, Maine — Accused armed robbers Michael Bailey and Amanda Fowler, both 27 and of Calais, made their first court appearances on multiple criminal charges Wednesday via video conference from Washington County Jail in Machias, where they remain unable to make bail.
Bailey is accused of going on a weekend crime spree — while wearing a green Halloween mask — at homes in Baileyville and Baring that involved nine victims, cocaine and cash, and that ended with Bailey being shot in the ear by one of the homeowners. Fowler is accused of being his accomplice and driving the getaway vehicle.
The armed robberies happened Saturday night and early Monday morning and the pair was arrested Monday afternoon after their vehicle was spotted on Route 214 in Pembroke, according to police.
While the two suspects appeared Wednesday via videoconference from jail before Judge John Romei, who sat in Calais District Court, Bailey was charged with 13 criminal counts — four counts of Class A robbery, five counts of Class B criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, single counts of Class A burglary and Class A reckless conduct with the use of a firearm, and two counts of Class B possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, according to First District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh. A Class A crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison on each count and a Class B crime by up to 10 years each.
Fowler is facing 10 charges — four counts of Class A robbery, one Class A burglary, and five counts of Class C criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.
Cavanaugh said Bailey’s charges for criminal threatening were upgraded to a higher level than Fowler’s because he has prior weapon convictions and used a firearm.
Bailey had his bail set at $400,000 in real estate or $100,000 cash, with a number of conditions. But he will likely face a bail revocation hearing for violating previous conditions placed on him after he was charged last year in Calais District Court with six charges of robbery, assault and theft. That case has not gone to trial yet.
Fowler’s bail was set Wednesday at $100,000 in real estate or $25,000 cash, also with conditions.
Both indicated to the judge that they would be unable to make bail.
“This is the highest bail I’ve seen in my tenure here,” Cavanaugh said. “Mr. Bailey allegedly fired a gun in two different residences and possibly used two different guns, a handgun and a shotgun. It is hard to imagine a more serious crime without fatalities.”
Police became involved in the investigation Sunday morning when four of the victims arrived at the Calais Police Station to report they had been robbed by a lone gunman the night before at a home in Baring.
The victims told police that four of them were at the home when a man wearing a green Halloween mask entered with a gun and threatened to shoot them, according to a court affidavit. Two other visitors arrived at the home and also were robbed. He struck one of the victims in the head with a silver revolver, shot the gun into a chair, and then ordered the homeowner to call another person so he could also rob him.
The resident made the call and two more males arrived and also were robbed. All eight victims recognized Bailey, according to the affidavit. Bailey then fled with an undisclosed amount of money and one victim’s cell phone, the affidavit stated.
The Maine State Police, the Calais and Baileyville police departments, and the U.S. Border Patrol began searching Sunday morning for Bailey and his alleged accomplice, Fowler.
Sunday evening, Fowler approached a homeowner in Baileyville looking for an acquaintance, according to the affidavit.
When she left, she was spotted walking with a man carrying a long firearm. At 4 a.m., the homeowner was asleep on the couch when he was awakened by gunshots outside his residence.
Bailey allegedly broke through the house’s door and the homeowner warned him that he had a gun. Bailey swore and the homeowner fired, according to the affidavit.
Bailey then ran and the homeowner fired a second time. The homeowner said the intruder was wearing a Halloween mask.
Two hours later, the intruder returned and began shooting out windows in the Baileyville home. The homeowner then called 911 for help.
While police were at the Baileyville home conducting their investigation, the homeowner received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Mike Bailey and who threatened to kill the homeowner if he didn’t give him $1,000.
Within hours, Trooper Timothy McCadden spotted a vehicle matching the description they were looking for on Route 214 in Pembroke. McCadden and Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Travis Willey then pulled over the 1998 Chevrolet Blazer being driven by Fowler and took Bailey into custody without incident.
Police said Bailey told them he had been using cocaine and that guns in the trunk of another car were his, not Fowler’s. Fowler also was questioned by police and arrested.
In her police interview, Fowler said she drove Bailey to the Baring robbery site and knew he was going to commit the robbery, but did not accompany him to the Baileyville home where he was shot, according to the affidavit. She said she helped clean his wounds Monday and helped dispose of his bloody clothes. Police have since recovered some of the clothing.
Cavanaugh said that a search warrant was being obtained Wednesday by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for two vehicles — the SUV and a 2006 Hyundai Elantra. Late Wednesday, Cavanaugh said the search had not been conducted but he expected to find guns, more bloody clothing, and drugs.
On Tuesday, Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland indicated that drugs were behind the robberies.
Cavanaugh said Wednesday that no charges are being considered at this time for any of the victims.
“We are still trying to figure out what happened,” he said.
He said there will be a status conference on the cases on March 28 at Washington County Superior Court and that it was unlikely there was enough time to present the cases to the grand jury on March 15 for indictment.