Bail set at $10,000 each for 4 men accused of brutally beating 2 others in Howland

Charles Gardner makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.
Charles Gardner makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Buy Photo
Posted Aug. 20, 2012, at 1:12 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 20, 2012, at 7 p.m.
Brandon Summerson, 21 of Enfield makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.
Brandon Summerson, 21 of Enfield makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Buy Photo
John McKinnon, 27, of Howland makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.
John McKinnon, 27, of Howland makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Buy Photo
Henry McKinnon, 27, of Howland makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.
Henry McKinnon, 27, of Howland makes his appearance via video feed at Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. Buy Photo

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HOWLAND, Maine — Bail was set at $10,000 cash Monday for each of four men arrested over the weekend after police say they brutally beat up two local men, leaving them with broken facial bones, broken ribs and missing teeth.

Brandon T. Summerson, 21, of Enfield; Howland brothers John T. McKinnon, 21, and Henry R. McKinnon, 27; and Charles W. Gardner, 20, also of Howland, each have been charged with two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the incident, according to Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman.

“They were both severely beaten,” McCausland said of the two Howland victims, who are 30 and 31. The Bangor Daily News is withholding their names because they are victims. The assault took place on Friday outdoors at the junction of Caron Drive and River Road.

“[The 30-year-old] has 80 facial fractures and will need extensive facial reconstructive surgery,” Jim Aucoin, a Penobscot County assistant district attorney, told Superior Court Justice William Anderson in court Monday.

“The other victim has numerous fractures that include a broken eye socket, broken ribs and [some of] his teeth have … been knocked out,” according to an account of the assault on the Maine State Police website. “He’s in ICU [intensive care unit] with an unregulated heart beat.”

A dispute over money apparently sparked the fight, Aucoin said outside the courtroom.

The affidavit is not forthcoming, the judge said.

“They all admit being there but nobody admits to doing anything,” Anderson said. “It’s hard to delineate who did what. What we know is four people did beat up two people [and] the two people have very, very serious injuries.”

For that reason, all four arrested are facing the same high bail conditions, the judge said.

Anderson set bail at $10,000 cash and added several conditions, which bars them from contacting the victims and each other, and from possessing alcohol or illegal drugs. If any of the men are able to make bail, they also will be subject to random searches and testing and have a court-ordered curfew that requires them to be home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

While discussing Gardner, Anderson asked if anyone wanted to speak and the young man’s father, William Gardner, stated firmly that, “at this time we chose not to post bail.” As William Gardner walked past a dozen of the suspects’ and victims’ family members, the mother of the 31-year-old victim said, “Thank you.”

William Gardner said the victim’s mother and his wife, Ellen, are close family friends. The women hugged when the Gardners left the courtroom.

“My son Charlie has no record. He’s 20 years old and he potentially has screwed himself,” Gardner’s father said as he was leaving the courthouse.

“It’s really hard because it’s a small town,” said the mother of the 31-year-old victim.

Maine State Police Sgt. David Millett and Troopers Larry Anderson and Keith Barton arrested Summerson and the McKinnon brothers at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday with assistance from Deputy Michael Knights of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and Game Warden Mike Boyer, district leader for the Lincoln region.

Gardner was arrested Sunday.

“The assumption is [the assault] was done with more than just fists,” McCausland said. “We’re still trying to pin down what sparked this violent assault.”

The victims both remain at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, McCausland said.

John McKinnon has an assault conviction from 2011, Henry McKinnon has a drug possession conviction from 2009 and another conviction for cultivation of marijuana, and Summerson was convicted of criminal trespassing and criminal mischief in 2011, Aucoin said.

The 31-year-old victim is slowly recovering, said his mother, who did not want to be identified.

“The swelling is going down,” she said, but his doctors still “don’t know what is causing the erratic heartbeat.”

Tests are being done to see if her son had a previously unknown medical condition that was discovered after he was admitted at EMMC, or if the attack caused stress on his heart.

“He’ll be in there for a while,” the man’s mother said.

All four suspects remained behind bars Monday night, a jail official said.

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