Former Maine state representative who brandished gun pleads guilty to reduced charge

Posted March 27, 2013, at 8:32 p.m.
Garland Republican Rep. Frederick Ladd Wintle.
Courtesy of the Wintle family
Garland Republican Rep. Frederick Ladd Wintle.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A former Maine state representative who pointed a loaded gun at a stranger in a Waterville doughnut shop parking lot two years ago withdrew his guilty plea to felony criminal threatening and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on Tuesday, according to his attorney.

Frederick Wintle — a Garland resident who served as a Republican state representative for District 24 (Dexter area) from 2010 until his September 2011 resignation — was allowed to change his plea from the felony charge to Class B misdemeanor criminal threatening after successfully completing a 12-month deferred disposition agreement, according to defense attorney Leonard Sharon.

As part of the disposition agreement, Wintle, 60, served 45 days in Kennebec County Jail and has been receiving regular mental health counseling. As part of the conditions of another year of probation, Wintle is required to continue counseling to the satisfaction of probation officials and take all his prescribed medication. He is also banned from possessing dangerous weapons such as firearms and from any contact with the victim.

Failure to complete terms of the disposition and probation would result in five years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, and two more years of probation.

According to court documents and published reports, Wintle pulled out a .22-caliber pistol from the waistband of his pants after talking to a Morning Sentinel newspaper photographer in the parking lot of the Waterville Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturday, May 21, 2011. After making several confusing statements to the photographer, Wintle waved the gun in the air before pointing it at the photographer.

Wintle, who was born in Dexter, joined the U.S. Air Force as a teenager and began a 20-year service career. He previously served as an SAD 46 director.

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