Rockport woman gets 14 days for gun threat

Posted Dec. 24, 2012, at 9:35 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 43-year-old Rockport woman will begin a 14-day jail sentence next month after being convicted of charges that resulted from her bringing a loaded rifle to the home of a person she suspected had stolen items from her.

Rachel P. Beal was sentenced Friday in Knox County Superior Court for terrorizing and criminal trespass.

The incident occurred in August 2010 when Rockland police received a report of a woman with a gun. When officers arrived they found Beal but she had no weapon on her, according to the affidavit filed in court. Police also checked her motor vehicle and later her residence but there was no gun found.

Police later received a call from the resident at the apartment building, where Beal had been found, saying a gun was left at the door. The .22-caliber rifle was wrapped in a bath mat.

Beal later acknowledged to police that she had gone to the residence with the weapon because she had suspected someone there had stolen some medication and jewelry from her, according to the affidavit. When she heard police coming, she tossed the gun into some nearby bushes. Beal told police she later went back and left it on the deck, according to the affidavit.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody asked for a 30-day sentence saying the level of terrorizing was extreme. Beal has a criminal record that includes forgery and theft in 2008, the prosecutor noted at the hearing.

Defense attorney Steven Peterson argued for probation, saying Beal has obvious mental health issues including bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The defense attorney said she does not know why she went to that residence with the loaded gun.

Justice Hjelm imposed the 14-day sentence, saying that bringing a loaded weapon changed the character of the offense.

He agreed to allow Beal to begin serving the sentence in January to allow her time to find child care.

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