Judge finds probable cause lacking to hold New Sharon man

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FARMINGTON — A District Court judge ruled Wednesday that there was not probable cause to hold a New Sharon man on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle from Wilton and driving after his license was revoked.

The charges, which included violation of condition of release, now default to the summons Michael Davis, 20, was issued when he was arrested Monday, according to a state prosecutor. It gives police more time to put together a report to prove probable cause.

Judge Charles Dow set bail at $500 each on two warrants Davis was also arrested on Monday. Davis was released from the jail after posting $1,000 cash bail on the warrants Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins told the court prior to the judge’s ruling that according to a state police affidavit, police watched Davis cross Route 2 on foot to a Cemetery Road residence where police took him into custody. State Police Sgt. Mathew Casavant used his police dog to track Davis from the residence to a parked truck that had been stolen from Wilton on Sunday, he said.

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Defense attorney Christopher Berryment said it seems that the linchpin is the dog track. Police are depending on a dog track for probable cause, he said, and he didn’t think a canine is trained enough to identify a person and whether they drove a vehicle.

Dow asked Robbins if anyone saw Davis drive the truck. Robbins said no one he knew about.

Robbins asked the judge if he received the supplemental probable cause document he submitted. The judge did not.

Initially, there was a handwritten paragraph for probable cause, Robbins said, and he was concerned it did not contain enough information. He asked police to submit a more detailed one, which was later submitted.

Besides the dog track to the vehicle, Robbins said, there was a shoe print found where the vehicle was taken and it matched Davis’ shoe.

Berry said the information could not be relied on and asked that the charges be dismissed. If police want to, they can develop more probable cause, he said.

Robbins argued that Davis was also arrested on outstanding warrants and had hidden from police. Davis had also led law enforcement on two chases in Franklin County in the past and is a flight risk, he said.

Berryment said Davis has lived here all of his life, has family here and is not a flight risk.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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