MDI man gets four years for assaulting officer

Posted Jan. 31, 2013, at 2:33 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 31, 2013, at 3:42 p.m.
Alfred C. Lanpher
Hancock County Jail
Alfred C. Lanpher

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Mount Desert Island man has been sentenced to serve more than four years in prison for assaulting a Southwest Harbor police officer while being placed under arrest.

Alfred Lanpher, 43, has prior convictions, some dating to the late 1980s, for burglary, assault, theft and tampering with a witness, according to prosecutors who attended Lanpher’s sentencing Thursday in Hancock County Superior Court.

Police executed a search warrant last May at Lanpher’s home on Cedar Lane in Southwest Harbor where, according to Assistant Attorney General Patrick Larson, they found a total of 1.6 grams of heroin in various locations. Lanpher was not home when the search warrant was executed.

Police went back nine days later to arrest Lanpher, who resisted arrest and bit a local officer on the thumb. The officer did not suffer any significant injuries in the incident, according to prosecutors.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, Lanpher pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of assault on an officer in exchange for a 4½-year prison sentence. As part of the deal, Lanpher also pleaded to a charge of unlawful furnishing of drugs, for which he received a concurrent sentence of one year in prison.

Larson said after the hearing that the quantity of drugs found in Lanpher’s home was not enough to charge him with drug trafficking. A drug possession charge Lanpher was facing was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Lanpher also was ordered to pay a $400 fine and $450 in restitution for lab work conducted by police as part of the drug investigation.

Lanpher’s defense attorney, Matt Foster of Ellsworth, told Justice Ann Murray that his client insists he was treated roughly by police at the time of his arrest, but that he admits to his role in the drug furnishing allegations. He said Lanpher has made every scheduled court appearance since his arrest on May 31, 2012.

“He’s definitely taking responsibility for this,” Foster told Murray.

Lanpher served five years in prison after 2006 convictions for assault and tampering with a witness, Assistant Hancock County District Attorney William Entwisle told the judge.

“His criminal record is lengthy,” Murray said.

The judge granted a stay until next Friday, Feb. 8, for Lanpher to begin serving his sentence so he can help his mother settle back in at home after having back surgery this week in Bangor.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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