Man found incompetent to stand trial

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FARMINGTON – A New Vineyard man was found to be incompetent Friday to stand trial now on several charges in connection with threatening a Franklin County deputy with a loaded shotgun and leading deputies on a 4 mile chase last year.

Michael Brown, 27, was put into the custody of the Maine Department of Mental Health and will go to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta for treatment, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Friday.

The state will re-evaluate monthly to determine if Brown becomes competent to stand trial, Robinson said.

Justice Joseph Jabar presided over the competency hearing at Franklin County Superior Court.

Brown has been in federal custody since the incident because it is illegal for a person who has been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution to possess a firearm.

Deputy Michelle St. Clair charged Brown with felony criminal threatening, eluding an officer, passing a roadblock, violating condition of release and a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct on May 19, 2005.

St. Clair said last year that she was attempting to do a requested welfare check on Brown, who has a long mental health history, when she stopped his car on Route 27 in New Vineyard.

When St. Clair walked up to the car, she said, Brown had a loaded shotgun, with the safety off on his lap, that was pointed toward the door where she was standing.

The deputy said Brown said, “If I’m gonna go, I’m going to take somebody with me.”

St. Clair talked him into putting the gun away and was trying to talk him into getting out of the car, when Brown took off and led police on on a high-speed chase, St. Clair had said.

Deputies also allege that Brown tried to strike another deputy, who put down a spike mat on Route 4, with his vehicle.

Brown’s vehicle didn’t hit the mat but did stop at a roadblock down the road. He was taken to a Farmington hospital for evaluation then transferred to Acadia Hospital in Bangor.

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