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Police investigating courthouse brawl minutes after Lamoine man pleads guilty to manslaughter in fatal shooting

Bill Trotter | BDN
Bill Trotter | BDN
A man bleeds from the side of his head Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at the intersection of Exchange and Washington streets in Bangor following an altercation outside the Penobscot Judicial Center. The brief fight allegedly involved supporters and opponents of Michael Carter, who minutes before had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the March 2012 shooting death of Lawrence "Randy" Sinclair Jr.
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Local police are sorting through witness statements and television video to determine whether anyone should be charged as a result of a melee involving about a half dozen people Wednesday afternoon outside the Penobscot Judicial Center.

The brawl occurred a few minutes after a hearing inside the building at which Michael Carter, 31, of Lamoine pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter in the March 2012 shooting death of Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair Jr. The altercation outside the courthouse is believed to have been between supporters of Carter and friends and relatives of Sinclair.

Bangor police Lt. Tom Reagan said Thursday afternoon that police plan on charging a juvenile, but that the case remains under investigation and further charges against others involved in the fighting are possible.

Tensions in the building had been high as Carter pleaded guilty to shooting Sinclair between the eyes during a confrontation over a truck paint job. Several relatives of Sinclair’s addressed the court at the hearing, telling the judge they “hate” Carter, and he should be found guilty of murder for “executing” Sinclair.

Television cameras that had been set up outside the courthouse in anticipation of getting comments from attorneys and relatives of those involved in the case recorded some of the scuffle.

A video posted online by WLBZ shows a young woman running up behind and trying to tackle another young woman as the fight breaks out. Roughly half a dozen other people joined in the scrum, and punches were thrown as the combatants ended up on the ground wrestling in the bushes by the sidewalk. The fight lasted about 30 seconds before Maine State Police detectives who had attended the hearing and courthouse security personnel stepped in to break it up.

BDN reporter Ryan McLaughlin contributed to this story.

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