Waldoboro man convicted of punching fellow prisoner

Posted June 19, 2013, at 3:13 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 41-year-old Waldoboro man will remain free on bail after a jury convicted him of injuring a fellow inmate last year by punching him.

The jury deliberated for about fours over two days before delivering its guilty verdict shortly after noon Wednesday on an aggravated assault charge against David R. Beal.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody, who prosecuted the case, has yet to develop a recommended sentence for Beal. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

Beal was charged with assaulting another man at the Bolduc Correctional Center in Warren last September when both men were inmates there. Both have subsequently completed their sentences and been released.

Testimony from the victim in the assault testified Tuesday that the incident began when Beal objected to the victim’s fiancee tossing a few potato chips on the lawn at the prison farm during visitation time. The food attracted some birds which Beal objected to, according to the victim.

Later in the day, the victim said he was opening a locker when Beal struck him from behind. The punch broke the man’s jaw in two places.

The man, who now lives in Rockland, said he remains in pain, is limited to eating soft foods and must chew only on one side of his mouth because of the injury.

Defense attorney Jonathan Handelman had attempted to convince jurors that conflicting statements by the victim were sufficient to render a not guilty verdict. The victim said he initially told a guard that he fell and was injured because he didn’t want to be viewed as a snitch in front of other prisoners.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm presided over the trial.

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