Two sentenced on federal gun charges

Posted Sept. 18, 2009, at 7:37 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A man and woman were sentenced this week in U.S. District Court on gun charges in separate cases.

Jean Keiper, 59, of Jackman was sentenced Wednesday to time served — approximately 60 days — and an additional 180 days of home confinement for having a gun after she had been committed involuntarily to a mental health institution.

Michael Wyman, 44, of Swanville was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in prison for possessing a gun after having been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced both defendants to three years of supervised release.

Keiper was forbidden from possessing guns because of her involuntary commitments to Midcoast Hospital in Brunswick in September 2000 and Acadia Hospital in Bangor in November 2006.

The charges against Keiper stemmed from a call in March 2008 from her estranged husband to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, according to court documents. He told deputies that he believed Keiper had taken the firearm and expressed concern about the safety of a physician and her family.

The doctor had obtained protection orders against Keiper for herself and her family in September 2006 from 12th District Court in Skowhegan after Keiper threatened to kill the physician and her family, according to court documents. The orders did not prevent Keiper from possessing a gun.

The defendant told police that “before she had taken the gun from her estranged husband, she had dreams of killing the female physician and her family,” court documents state. “The defendant stated that her dreams stopped after she took the gun.”

Keiper told law enforcement officials that the gun was hidden under the deck of her home wrapped in a plastic bag inside a tire, according to court documents. A loaded .357 Magnum revolver was found in the location Keiper had described.

She was arrested in June 2008 on the federal charge of possession of a firearm after being committed involuntarily. She was released about two weeks later on $10,000 unsecured bail to the custody of a friend in Connecticut and spent 45 additional days being evaluated at a federal prison hospital, which accounts for her time served.

Keiper faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, she faced zero to six months in prison. The conditions of her home confinement, to be served in Connecticut, include not returning to Maine without the permission of U.S. Probation and Parole, having no contact with the physician she threatened or the doctor’s family and receiving mental health treatment.

Wyman was indicted in August 2008 by a federal grand jury in Bangor for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge in March, according to court documents.

He was banned from possessing guns after being convicted in 2002 in Waldo County of a misdemeanor assault on his then-girlfriend, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The federal charge stemmed from a March 2008 incident with the same woman, according to court documents. Wyman, while intoxicated, shot at the woman and her friends when she returned to a residence to retrieve her belongings.

Wyman, who had been free on $5,000 unsecured bail, faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, his recommended sentence was between 12 and 18 months. The sentence of a year and a day will allow Wyman to earn good time while incarcerated.

Both cases were part of Maine’s Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which coordinates the efforts of federal and state agencies to increase the successful prosecution of firearms cases and educate potential offenders on the serious consequences of illegal gun use and possession, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

990-8207

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