July 17, 2019
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Driver who hit man playing Pokemon Go gets 60 days

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
Jeannie Chapman, 37, of Brewer (left) and her attorney, David Bate, of Bangor appear Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Chapman was sentenced to three years with all but 60 days suspended for striking a man playing Pokemon Go in July with her car.

BANGOR, Maine — A Brewer woman accused of intentionally driving her vehicle into a pedestrian who had been playing Pokemon Go near the post office in downtown Bangor in July was sentenced Friday to three years in prison with all but 60 days suspended.

Jeannie M. Chapman, 37, was convicted earlier this month of injuring a 37-year-old Bangor man who was in the crosswalk at Franklin and Hammond streets about 9:53 p.m. July 24. She then drove away.

The sentence handed down at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Friday was the result of a plea agreement between Chapman’s attorney and the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.

Chapman, who was indicted in September on one count each of aggravated assault and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident, did not address the court Friday.

The man who was injured told Superior Court Justice Ann Murray that he did not oppose the sentence of three years but objected to Chapman serving just 60 days at the Penobscot County Jail.

“It’s a slap on the wrist,” the victim, who is not being identified by the Bangor Daily News, said. “I have PTSD now that I never had before, because I’ve never had someone try to take my life and run me over before.”

He told the judge that he continues to suffer pain in his hip and has nerve damage in his knee and hip because of Chapman’s actions. The victim also told Murray that his father died two weeks after he was struck.

“I believe this contributed to his death,” he said.

Chapman’s attorney, David Bate of Bangor, told Murray that if the case had gone to trial, a jury might have found that Chapman backed up and tried to go around the victim who was standing in the crosswalk for a longer-than-normal period of time.

She was arrested about 30 minutes after the incident in July but was released on $1,500 cash bail a few days later.

Chapman was re-arrested on Nov. 11 on unrelated forgery and drug possession charges and has been held without bail since, according to Alice Clifford, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.

On Dec. 8, Chapman pleaded guilty to all charges, the prosecutor said.

Her sentences for the new crimes are to be served at the same time as the 60 days she was given for the Pokemon case.

In addition to prison time, Chapman was ordered to serve three years of probation, lose her driver’s license for 120 days and pay more than $4,400 in restitution toward the victim’s medical bills. Because the victim told Chapman’s car insurance company that he was hit deliberately, the firm refused to pay the claim, so Chapman must, Bate said.

Murray ordered that $400 of the $1,500 bail the defendant posted go to pay the mandatory fine as a result of the drug conviction. The judge also ordered that $500 of the bail go toward the restitution. The remainder is to be returned to Chapman after her release from jail.

Conditions of Chapman’s probation include no contact with the victim, obtaining employment and continuing counseling.

Chapman faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the most serious charges of aggravated assault and forgery.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Jeannie Chapman was indicted last year. She was indicted in September.


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