April 08, 2020
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Charges to be dismissed if man who caused Maine school lockdown stays in mental health care

Lauren Abbate | BDN
Lauren Abbate | BDN
The Knox County Courthouse.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A man who said voices told him to “shoot up a school” last year will have a terrorizing charge against him dismissed if he continues to undergo mental health treatment.

Brandon M. Luzzi, 62, of Rockland pleaded guilty Wednesday to a terrorizing misdemeanor, which will be dropped through a deferred disposition in six months if Luzzi continues receiving mental health treatment and complies with a number of other conditions, according to court documents.

The initial felony charge of terrorizing that Luzzi faced was dismissed.

District Attorney Natasha Irving said the goal for the state in this case was to ensure that the community is safe by prohibiting Luzzi from having firearms but also not to punish him for a mental illness.

Irving said it would also have been difficult to prove that voices were telling Luzzi to shoot up a school. She added that he has gone his entire life without a criminal charge.

The charge stems from an incident in May when Rockland police were notified that Luzzi had told a friend that “voices in his head were telling him to do a school shooting,” according to a police affidavit filed in court.

The alleged threat caused Regional School Unit 13 to go into lockdown while Rockland police worked to locate Luzzi. At the time, Luzzi was residing near the South School in Rockland, which serves grades kindergarten through fifth.

Police were able to take Luzzi into custody, and he was brought to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. Luzzi underwent psychiatric evaluation for an undisclosed period after the May 29 incident, though it is not clear when he was released.

Aside from continuing his mental health treatment, the agreement reached Wednesday also stipulates that Luzzi is prohibited from possessing “dangerous weapons” and must take all medications as subscribed.

Because Luzzi was involuntarily committed to psychiatric care, Irving said he will be prohibited from having firearms even once the deferred disposition period has ended.

Based on reports that prosecutors received from Luzzi’s doctors, Irving said he doing well with treatment.

“To punish him criminally for being mentally ill and hearing voices … Is it really appropriate for this to state to do that?” Irving said. “We want people in the community who are maybe feeling those symptoms to feel that they can reach out [for help].”

 


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