Dixfield man pleads guilty to assaulting police in Wilton

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FARMINGTON — A Dixfield man pleaded guilty Tuesday to assaulting two police officers as they struggled to arrest him in April 2016 in Wilton.

Kirk Hamel, 45, entered guilty pleas to two felony charges of assault on an officer and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and driving to endanger in Franklin County Superior Court. He also pleaded guilty to violating conditions of release in a separate case.

The state dismissed nine misdemeanor charges in the negotiated plea agreement including three counts of criminal mischief, domestic violence assault, operating under the influence and refusing to submit to arrest or detention-physical force.

If the case had gone to trial, testimony would have been heard that Wilton police responded April 30, 2016, to multiple reports of a black Chevrolet Camaro driving recklessly and running over lawns on Main Street in Wilton.

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Wilton officer Gary Allen and Farmington Sgt. Edward Hastings IV found the car in East Wilton.

They would testify that Hamel and his girlfriend were outside the car when they arrived and Hamel was very distraught, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said.

The car keys had been thrown into a pasture. Police would testify that Hamel and his girlfriend got into a confrontation. Police decided to arrest Hamel. Allen got one handcuff on Hamel and was holding onto the other one while Hamel was kicking, punching and struggling with the officers, Robbins said. Allen received an injury to his thumb and Hastings was kicked multiple times.

Police previously said that a Taser was used several times to try to subdue Hamel to arrest him. Jay police and Franklin County sheriff’s deputies responded as backup to help arrest Hamel.

Justice Nancy Mills asked whether Hamel had been tested for operating under the influence. There was no test, Robbins said. Hamel was suspected of driving under the influence of cocaine, he said.

The state’s recommended sentence will be five years in prison with all but 18 months suspended and two years of probation on the assault on officer charges, Robbins said. They would be served at the same time. Defense attorney John Martin is expected to argue for less time in jail.

The felony charges each carry up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and two years of probation.

On the violating condition of release charge, the recommended sentence is 111 days in jail with credit given for time serviced, Robbins said. The sentence on the driving to endanger charge is recommended as a $575 fine and a 30-day loss of license.

The sentence recommendation on the criminal mischief charge is primarily restitution, the prosecutor said.

Restitution is requested in the amount of $1,205 for one property owner whose lawn was damaged by the Camaro, and $165 each for two others whose lawns were damaged, he said. Restitution of $66.44 for Taser cartridges is for the Farmington Police Department.

Sentencing was delayed so that the three property owners could address the court. A date was not set as of Tuesday.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

Kirk Hamel (Franklin County Detention Center)

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