State, defense rest in trial of Bangor man Mental health problems, prescription drug use blamed for ’99 standoff with police — (Bangor Daily News)

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Bangor Daily News (ME)

August 22, 2001

Author: Renee Ordway, Of the NEWS Staff: daily

The attorney representing a man accused of holding police at bay and stabbing two of them during a six-hour standoff two years ago continued Tuesday to try to convince a judge that his client’s mental health problems as well as prescribed drugs were at the core of the September 1999 incident.

Dean Douglas, 39, of Bangor, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. He could face up to 10 years in prison for the assault charges and five each for the other two charges.

The jury-waived trial is being presided over by Justice Francis Marsano.

Both the state and the defense rested their cases on Tuesday and Marsano will hear closing remarks from Julio DeSanctis and Assistant District Attorney Greg Campbell this afternoon, before rendering his verdict.

The defense rested after DeSanctis held a brief, private consultation with Douglas and returned to the courtroom saying that Douglas chose not to testify on his own behalf.

On Tuesday, DeSanctis continued questioning witnesses in a manner to suggest that Bangor police had no reason to surround Douglas’ Curve Street apartment on the night of Sept. 8, 1999. Police had dealt with Douglas before in a standoff in 1997 during which he fired numerous gun shots from the same apartment at police cruisers.

A Penobscot County Sheriff’s deputy testified Monday that he had a conversation with Douglas outside the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building on the night of the stand off. He then reported to Bangor police that Douglas had been drinking, though might not be drunk, and had expressed frustration at the federal government.

Testimony indicated that Burgess’ statements were translated to Bangor police officers into a direct threat made to government officials and police officers.

Because of their prior dealings with Douglas and a belief that he was violating his probation by consuming alcohol, police surrounded his daughter’s Curve Street apartment, where Douglas was residing.

Six hours after police surrounded the house, Douglas exited the building carrying a machete and a knife. Members of Bangor Police Department’s Special Response Unit followed him as he walked to the Painted Pony antique store, where they tackled him. Officer Bob Hutchings and Sgt. Jeff Millard were both cut during the tackle.

Psychiatrists who have examined Douglas have offered the judge opposing views on whether Douglas, who has suffered nearly a lifetime of mental illness, was criminally responsible on that September evening.

DeSanctis appears to be focusing his defense primarily on whether Douglas meant to stab the officers or whether they were simply cut when they tackled him.

The aggravated assault charges are the most serious of the four charges that Douglas faces. He has been incarcerated since the September 1999 incident. His trial has been continued numerous times as Douglas has fired several attorneys appointed by the state to represent him.

Testimony on Tuesday indicated that Douglas, who had been released from the hospital just a week prior to the incident, was on Prozac , two other anti-depressant drugs and Valium.

Record Number: MERLIN_524550
Copyright (c) 2001 Bangor Daily News