Harvey Lembo, a Rockland resident who shot an intruder who broke into his apartment in an attempt to rob him, will not be prosecuted, according to the Knox County District Attorney.
Lembo, 69, shot Christopher Wildhaber, 47, during the Aug. 31, 2015 attempted burglary at Park Place apartments. Lembo, who is disabled, had bought the 7 mm Russian-made handgun that he used to shoot Wildhaber just days before the attempted burglary. Lembo said he purchased the gun because his apartment had been broken into three times previously.
“The Knox County Office of the District Attorney has reviewed this matter, and we have declined prosecution,” District Attorney Jonathan Liberman said in a July 6 email.
“Had this case gone to trial, the evidence would have raised issues related to self defense and defense of premises,” Liberman said. “The standard of proof in criminal cases is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and I do not believe that we can meet that burden in this case.”
At the time of the shooting, Lembo told the Bangor Daily News that he had his gun under his pillow around midnight when he heard a sound inside his apartment and saw a shadow pass into his kitchen. Lembo, with his gun, confronted Wildhaber, who was looking through Lembo’s prescription pain medications. Windhaber later disclosed that he had been too drunk to notice that he was in the wrong apartment.
“I told him to sit down while I called police or I would blow his brains out,” Lembo told the BDN.
The intruder complied and sat on a coffee table while Lembo called 911.
But while Lembo was on the phone with the public safety dispatcher, the intruder jumped up and Lembo fired one shot. The intruder, leaving a pool of blood, fled out a back door, Lembo said.
Last July, Windhaber was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but four suspended for attempting to steal drugs and refusing to submit to arrest.
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