September 21, 2019
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Charges against Rockland man who heard voices tell him to ‘do a school shooting’ dismissed

Lauren Abbate | BDN
Lauren Abbate | BDN

The criminal charges against a Rockland man who heard voices tell him to “do a school shooting” last year have been dismissed.

Brandon M. Luzzi, 62, complied with the conditions of a six-month deferred disposition — including seeking mental health treatment — that was reached with prosecutors in January, according to court documents.

The successful completion of the deferred disposition allowed for a final misdemeanor charge of terrorizing to be dismissed Thursday. Luzzi had initially pleaded guilty to the charge in January, when a felony charge of terrorizing was dismissed.

The charges stem from a May 2018 incident 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.

Luzzi did not have a criminal record prior to the incident, Knox County District Attorney Natasha Irving said. The decision to dismiss the charges if Luzzi continued with mental health treatment was to emphasize that he should not be punished for a mental illness, Irving said.

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

Because Luzzi was involuntarily committed to psychiatric care, he will be prohibited from having firearms.

 



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