April 09, 2020
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Brothers who brawled with cops in dying grandmother’s hospital room sentenced to time served

Courtesy of Hancock County Jail
Courtesy of Hancock County Jail
Pictured from left to right: Brighton Sawyer, Dirk Sawyer, and Byron Grant.

Three brothers who a year ago were chased by police into an Ellsworth hospital and then brawled with the officers in their dying grandmother’s hospital room each have been sentenced to serve a few days in jail.

Byron L. Grant, Brighton C. Sawyer and Dirk Sawyer also have been ordered to pay a total of $1,180 in restitution to Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital because of the damage caused during the melee.

Grant, 36, of Township 35 in northern Hancock County, and Dirk Sawyer, 23, of Columbia, were sentenced Feb. 18 in Ellsworth. Brighton Sawyer, 22, of Norridgewock, was sentenced in December.

The number of days in jail each brother received for a sentence varies because of unrelated charges or bail violations. The brothers had already served most or all of their sentences before they were bailed out after their initial arrests in January 2019, according to court documents. Grant had to serve seven days, Dirk Sawyer two days and Brighton Sawyer 12 days.

Each brother was ordered individually to pay $393.33 in restitution to the hospital — one third of the $1,180 total restitution order.

Each brother originally had been charged with burglary, refusal to submit to arrest, terrorizing, assault, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and failure to stop for an officer. As part of plea deals each brother struck with the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office, they each pleaded guilty to refusing to submit and criminal mischief and the rest of the charges were dismissed, according to court documents.

The three men were arrested Jan. 20, 2019, after Brighton Sawyer allegedly threatened another motorist as they were riding in a truck to the Ellsworth hospital to visit their sick grandmother.

The driver of the other vehicle thought he had been threatened with a gun and called Ellsworth police. When responding officers ordered the brothers’ pickup truck to stop, the brothers ran off on foot to the Union Street hospital.

The hospital was placed on lockdown before the brothers arrived but their mother, who was there, let them in not knowing she wasn’t supposed to do so, she said in February of last year.

Police pursued the men inside the hospital to their grandmother’s hospital room, and, after the brothers refused to comply with the officers’ orders, police fired their Tasers, according to an Ellsworth police report. In the resulting melee, racks for holding medical supplies were knocked off the wall and a reclining chair was broken before the three men were subdued and handcuffed.

Police said at the time that they thought one or more of the brothers had a gun. However, officers never found one after they subdued the brothers and searched them and the truck.

The brothers’ grandmother, Betty M. Grant, 80, of Harrington, died two days later at the Ellsworth hospital, hours before her grandsons were bailed out of Hancock County Jail, according to the Grant family.

 


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