Waterville native to serve 15 months for attempted kidnapping of 2-year-old

Posted March 01, 2014, at 12 p.m.
Last modified March 02, 2014, at 12:12 p.m.
James Graham
Maine State Police
James Graham

BATH, Maine — A Waterville native now living in New Hampshire was found guilty by a jury Feb. 24 in Sagadahoc County Superior Court of attempted kidnapping and assault and was sentenced to four years in prison with all but 15 months suspended.

James D. Graham, 30, of Newmarket, N.H., also was sentenced to three years of probation, according to his defense attorney James T. Lawley of Augusta. Lawley issued a press release Friday because the sentence “was reported inaccurately” by some media outlets.

He had been held at Two Bridges Regional Jail unable to post $200,000 cash bail since his arrest, according to jail personnel. That time will be applied to his sentence.

“The verdict is very disappointing,” Lawley said. “Because of Graham’s combat experience, he has suffered a great deal of mental and emotional distress. He’s been evaluated and found to have potential for multiple conditions including PTSD, schizophrenia and a brief psychotic disorder. The court found that Graham was suffering from a mental disorder at the time. His actions, and his conviction, are the unfortunate result of Graham’s misunderstanding of the situation, which was the result of his traumatized mental state.”

Graham was arrested in May after he tried to kidnap a 2-year-old from the boy’s grandmother at the Bowdoinham park and ride about 8 p.m. on May 22, according to Maine State Police. Graham, who did not know the child or the woman, was arrested a short time later in Brunswick, police said in May.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state police, said at the time that a loaded handgun, knives, parachute cord, cable ties and maps of the White Mountains were seized from Graham’s vehicle.

Graham is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force Special Forces and served multiple combat missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan during which he experienced significant traumas, Lawley said in the press release. Graham was honorably discharged from the military after aiding in relief efforts after the tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in March 2011. Graham also aided in training U.S. allies around the world.

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