December 14, 2018
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Dixmont man shot by police to resolve case without jail time

Caitlin Rogers | BDN
Caitlin Rogers | BDN
Michael Grendell's property in Dixmont is pictured after community members cleaned up the debris created when Maine State Police destroyed the home with an explosive to end a standoff June 29.

The Dixmont man whose house was destroyed by a police bomb and who was shot by members of the Maine State Police during a June standoff is expected to resolve his case Friday without serving time behind bars.

Michael Grendell, 62, has reached a plea agreement with the Penobscot County district attorney’s office that calls for him to serve four years on probation but not go to jail or prison, his attorney, David Bate of Bangor said Thursday.

Grendell will plead no contest to one count each of reckless conduct and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, both Class C crimes, Bate said. In exchange for his pleas, Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Marianne Lynch will dismiss one count of attempted murder, a Class A crime.

No contest pleas result in convictions.

Class C crimes carry maximum sentences of five years, while the maximum sentence for Class A crimes is 30 years.

Lynch did not immediately return a request for confirmation of the deal.

Bate and Lynch are expected to make a joint recommendation to Superior Court Justice Ann Murray that Grendell be sentenced to the time he has been held at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta — about six weeks, according to the defense attorney. Grendell was transferred to Riverview in early September after he was released from Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Under Maine law, if Murray were to reject the plea agreement, Grendell would be free to withdraw his no contest pleas and go to trial.

Bate said Friday that it had not been determined where Grendell will live once he is released from Riverview.

The defense attorney also said he expected Grendell would be found competent prior to entering his no contest pleas.

Grendell was in the midst of a mental health crisis on June 28, when police arrived at his home, Bate said. Police went to talk with Grendell after Lee Bell, a friend and neighbor, said that Grendell shot at him the night before. Bell told police he waited to notify them of the incident because he was worried about his friend’s safety.

Col. John Cote, chief of the state police, said that officers shot Grendell after a 20-hour standoff when they drew him out of the house by detonating an explosive and Grendell continued walking toward them with a firearm.

A Go Fund Me campaign, set by Grendell’s godson, Jake Irish, seeks to raise $2,000 to help Grendell get back on his feet.

It fell to the town of Dixmont and neighbors to clean up the debris from Grendell’s destroyed home as his homeowner’s insurance refused to pay the claim, his attorney said. First Selectman David Bright said state police had refused to pay the $2,000 cost, so the town would ask the Legislature to reimburse it.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Michael Grendell would plead guilty. He will plead no contest.


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