‘Pro Me Thius’ arrested at Rockland cemetery on Halloween

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 02, 2012, at 5:45 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A California man who goes by the name of Pro Me Thius pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he refused to leave an encampment at the Achorn Cemetery.

The hearing for the 50-year-old North Hollywood man consumed much of the court time set aside Friday in Rockland District Court for suspects who had yet to make bail.

Thius was arrested on Halloween at about 4 p.m. after Police Officer Lloyd Daniels responded to a complaint from an official with Achorn Cemetery that a man had set up a tent on the southwest corner of the cemetery off Old County Road.

When an officer approached Thius, he became vocal and contended that a cemetery cannot own property, according to the affidavit filed in court.

Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher and Detective Sgt. Chris Young also arrived and tried to convince the man to leave but he continued to refuse and was arrested for criminal trespass.

He was taken to Knox County Jail.

At Friday’s hearing, Thius claimed the arrest was improper and repeatedly demanded his right to habeas corpus. Habeas corpus gives citizens the right to demand to be brought before a court when charged.

District Court Judge Peter Darvin cautioned Thius to avoid making comments that could be used against him. Eventually after consulting with defense attorney Larry Frier, Thius agreed to plead no contest to the criminal trespass charge in exchange for a jail sentence of 48 hours with credit for the time he has already spent in jail since Wednesday afternoon.

Frier asked that Thius be allowed to return to the cemetery to collect his belongings.

The defense attorney also asked the judge to waive the $10 victim fee, because Thius is homeless and does not work. Judge Darvin replied that he does not waive such fees, but gave Thius 30 days to come up with the money.

“Don’t ignore this or it could come back to bite you from behind,” the judge said.

The affidavit also stated that there is an outstanding warrant in California for the defendant but that it is not one for which the state would extradite him. The report did not state what Thius was wanted for in California.

Thius was arrested on the outstanding warrant in June in Belfast but a charge of being a fugitive from justice was later dismissed in Belfast District Court, according to the Bangor Daily News archives. In a BDN story about the Belfast arrest, a Los Angeles Police Department official said Thius was wanted for loitering, but may have other active charges against him that she was not able to share with the media.

Also during the Friday hearings, Judge Darvin ordered Victor J. Pendleton, 21, of Belfast to be held without bail following his arrest Thursday morning in Rockport for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and carrying a concealed weapon.

Pendleton was stopped by Rockport Police Chief Mark Kelley after police received a report that a stolen vehicle was heading east on Route 17.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/02/news/midcoast/pro-me-thius-arrested-at-rockland-cemetery-on-halloween/ printed on September 17, 2014