April 26, 2018
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Jury deliberates case of Rockland man accused of assaulting neighbor in plowing dispute during blizzard

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 62-year-old Rockland woman testified Thursday that she was frightened after a neighbor pushed her into the snow and threatened to kill her over a dispute about snow plowing during a blizzard in February.

Marion L. West Jr., 40, of Rockland, went on trial Thursday in Knox County Superior Court on charges of assault and criminal threatening.

The jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon and spent about an hour on the case before recessing for the evening. Deliberations will continue Friday morning.

West has pleaded not guilty and his attorney Jim Mason told jurors Thursday that he will present evidence that West was not on the property when the alleged victim claims the incident occurred.

The woman told jurors that she was trying to clean her car off during the Feb. 9 blizzard when West and his wife came out and were yelling at her, claiming she had directed a snow plow driver to push the snow onto their adjoining property.

She said they first threw snowballs at her and shovel loads of snow. West then approached her, grabbed the shovel she was holding and pushed her down into the snow. He then stood over her screaming.

“I felt very scared,” she said, adding that he threatened to kill her if she came over again to his property.

Mason challenged her story and said this was a story about neighbors and a dispute during a storm that dumped so much snow that it was given the name Nemo.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ruled that testimony by Rockland police Officer Andrew Redden that West refused to cooperate when the officer responded to the call and would not come out of his residence to talk about the incident, could not be presented at trial.

The jury was selected Wednesday.

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