Auburn standoff suspect faces additional charges

Auburn police officers take cover behind a police cruiser surrounding a suspect inside a Jeep Cherokee during a standoff at Shaw's Plaza in Auburn on Monday.
Jose Leiva/Sun Journal
Auburn police officers take cover behind a police cruiser surrounding a suspect inside a Jeep Cherokee during a standoff at Shaw's Plaza in Auburn on Monday.
By Mark LaFlamme, Sun Journal
Posted Nov. 08, 2012, at 6:26 a.m.

AUBURN — Two days after he was accused of engaging police in a standoff near the Auburn Mall, Randolph Nutter on Wednesday made his first appearance in court.

After a brief appearance in Lewiston District Court, Nutter, 45, of Mechanic Falls, was returned to jail where he was being held on $10,000 bail.

According to court documents, Nutter admitted to police that he was hooked on prescription painkillers, which may have led to the drama Monday in Auburn’s shopping district.

Nutter is charged with robbery, accused of snatching a purse from a 68-year-old woman in the Walmart parking lot prior to the standoff. He was also charged with burglary and theft for an incident in October unrelated to Monday’s drama.

The 4½-hour standoff that involved Auburn police and the state’s Police Tactical Team ended Monday afternoon when Nutter was hit with a Taser and taken into custody. But before that, the situation was tense around the Auburn Mall.

At about 11 a.m. Monday, police were sent to Walmart when it was reported a man had grabbed a purse from a woman in the parking lot. A witness told police the suspect ran toward a hill that separates Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club and that he pointed a gun at a woman who was chasing him, according to court documents.

Nutter was reported to have fled into a silver Jeep, which police found within minutes of arriving. Nutter was inside the Jeep, police said, and refused to come out.

The standoff ensued. Police evacuated several businesses and blocked off access roads as the tactical team made its way to Auburn.

Throughout the ordeal, police communicated with Nutter but could not immediately convince him to surrender. One police officer reported he saw Nutter place a gun in his mouth as the standoff continued.

While Nutter was inside the Jeep, he talked with a woman on his cellphone, according to court documents. That woman later called police and reported that Nutter was suicidal.

“Randolph Nutter allegedly stated that he was going to get out of his vehicle with the gun,” according to an affidavit written by Auburn Detective Nathan Westleigh. “When asked, Randolph stated that he would be happy if police would shoot him.”

The affidavit was written in support of additional charges, including criminal threatening and creating a police standoff, although Nutter was ultimately charged with robbery.

At about 3:30 p.m., Nutter agreed to surrender, police said, although the affidavit states that officers from the tactical team required the user of a Taser to subdue him.

Police found an Airsoft handgun inside the Jeep, officials said. Also recovered was the purse stolen from the woman in the Walmart parking lot.

According to court documents, Nutter admitted he was addicted to Percocet and that he takes several 30-milligram pills each day.

“At one point during this incident, Randolph Nutter also offered to give up if we were to give him four Percocet 30-milligram pills,” the affidavit states. “It should also be noted that he didn’t give himself up until we agreed to take him to the hospital for medical treatment.”

Nutter also was being held on charges of burglary and theft by unauthorized taking. Those charges date back to Oct. 2 when he is accused of breaking into the home of a friend and stealing a television and a Playstation 3 with a combined value of more than $1,000.

The items were later recovered from a Lewiston pawn shop, police said.

mlaflamme@sunjournal.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/08/news/auburn-standoff-suspect-appears-in-court/ printed on July 10, 2014