State dismisses assault charges in Farmington ax case

Posted Sept. 10, 2013, at 7:23 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — The state has dismissed two charges of misdemeanor assault against a Rumford man as a result of a negotiated settlement, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said Monday.

A Franklin County jury acquitted Brian Sweeney, 32, of felony aggravated assault in March related to an April 2012 incident involving an ax and meat cleaver at a Farmington residence.

Justice Michaela Murphy declared a hung jury on two lesser charges of assault against Sweeney after the jury deadlocked on them.

Sweeney and Shari Dupree, 32, of Wilton were accused of attacking Jeremiah Gattis and his girlfriend, Stephanie Buzzell, in the late evening hours of April 3, 2012, at their residence on Poverty Lane in Farmington.

The jury acquitted Dupree of all charges.

The jury heard testimony over two days and deliberated for several hours without reaching a decision on the misdemeanor charges against Sweeney.

Justice Murphy put the lesser assault charges back on the docket.

Sweeney’s case was on the September docket Thursday, but was dismissed.

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