AUBURN, Maine — A Lewiston man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from reports that he fired a gun at a pickup truck in November.
Robert Despres, 35, of 3 Garnett Ave. entered pleas to a charge of reckless conduct and two charges of criminal threatening and a charge of criminal mischief, during a brief appearance in Androscoggin County Superior Court.
Despres, who posted $2,500 cash bail, remained free Thursday and the bail amount was reduced in court to $200. He is forbidden from possessing or using a firearm or any other dangerous weapon and he is barred from having contact with the victim named in the grand jury indictment.
Police say Despres fired a gun at a pickup truck during a custody dispute involving a baby sitter and the child’s father.
At the time of the shooting, the 18-month-old girl at the center of the dispute, her father and her grandfather were in the truck. No one was hurt.
According to police, Despres’ girlfriend was baby-sitting the child while the girl’s mother was away. The child’s father, Joseph Lamothe of Lisbon, shares custody of the child with her mother. Around 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday, Lamothe and his father arrived at Despres’ home at 3 Garnett Ave., where Despres’ girlfriend was baby-sitting.
Lamothe decided to take his daughter, but the baby sitter refused because the baby’s mother hadn’t approved the arrangement, police said. Lamothe took the baby. The upset baby sitter woke Despres and told him the child was being taken. Police said Despres knew it was the baby’s father who was taking her.
Police said Despres pointed his gun at the truck with Lamothe, his father and his daughter inside. Lamothe’s father, Richard, was driving. He saw the gun and sped off. Despres fired a shot, hitting one of the truck’s rear tires and puncturing it, police said.
The baby sitter was not charged.
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