Standish man who urged juror to hang Ormsby pleads guilty

Posted July 19, 2012, at 3:18 p.m.
Albert Gaudet
Albert Gaudet

HOULTON, Maine — A Standish man who was arrested and charged in April with tampering with a juror during the Thayne Ormsby triple homicide trial pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a lesser charge of obstructing government administration.

Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said that Albert Gaudet, 52, made his initial appearance in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton.

Gaudet was sentenced to 14 days jail and a $250 fine. Both were suspended for 6 months and he was given a deferred disposition.

That means that Gaudet will not have to go to jail immediately, and if he abides by the law and does not get into legal trouble in the next six months, he will be allowed to return to court and withdraw the guilty plea. He would avoid incarceration and the case would then be settled for $250 plus a $300 supervision fee that will be paid to The County while he is on deferred disposition.

Ormsby was convicted on April 13 in the stabbing deaths of Jeffrey Ryan, 55, Ryan’s son Jesse, 10, and Ryan family friend Jason Dehahn, 30, all of Amity, on June 22, 2010. They were found dead about 27 hours after the killings at the elder Ryan’s home on U.S. Route 1, according to police. All three died of multiple stab wounds.

Ormsby, an Ellsworth native who moved to Orient, a town just a mile from the crime scene, entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges. Because of the dual pleas, Ormsby was tried in two phases before Justice E. Allen Hunter in Superior Court in Houlton. He was represented by attorneys James Dunleavy and Sarah LeClaire of Presque Isle and found guilty of the murders first on April 13 and then criminally responsible for his crimes on April 19.

In June, he was sentenced to three life terms in prison.

Ormsby also was found guilty of arson for burning Jeff Ryan’s truck after he stole it from the murder scene, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the burning. That sentence is being served consecutively with the life sentences. Ormsby is appealing his convictions.

Gaudet is a nephew of Robert Dehahn, 55, of Amity, who is the father of Jason Dehahn. Police said that the jury tampering charge was levied after Gaudet urged a juror to “hang the bastard,” referring to Ormsby. Gaudet made the statement as the juror was entering the Aroostook County Courthouse for trial the morning of April 10, according to Maine State Police. The juror reported the incident, and Gaudet was arrested and charged by state police Lt. Christopher Coleman. Gaudet was briefly jailed and released on $750 cash bail.

Collins said that he decided not to go through with the jury tampering charge, a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, after consulting with the attorney general’s office and the investigating law enforcement officers.

“Mr. Gaudet was immediately remorseful for his impetuous conduct,” he said Thursday. “He abided by fairly strict bail conditions since the incident. And, luckily for him and all involved, his conduct ultimately did not require a mistrial. If it had, I am sure we would be talking about a very different result for Mr. Gaudet.”

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