Mexico man pleads not guilty to Valentine’s Day gun charge

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MEXICO — A local man is free on bail and awaiting trial in May after pleading not guilty Wednesday to carrying a concealed handgun on Valentine’s Day.

Brandon E. Holmes, 25, of 81 Main St. was conditionally released at his arraignment on $200 unsecured bail, a Rumford District Court clerk said  Thursday afternoon.

He is not to use or have alcohol, drugs and firearms and is subject to search and testing by authorities, without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, according to his arraignment document in his court file.

Mexico police Chief Jim Theriault said Thursday afternoon that Holmes “fired one round from a pistol by the post office after he broke up with his girlfriend.”

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Nobody was apparently injured during the shooting.

“He was highly intoxicated and couldn’t even stand up on his own,” Theriault said.

At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, a dispatcher in Paris received a 911 call reporting shots fired in the vicinity of Main Street, Mexico police Officer Daniel Carrier said in his affidavit on the incident.

Carrier was at Rumford Hospital working a case that involved a car-pedestrian accident that happened 90 minutes earlier on Main Street. While there, he said the dispatcher alerted him to a man with a gun who ran behind the Mexico Food Trend convenience store and fuel station.

Carrier called for backup from Rumford and Dixfield police, and Oxford County Deputy Sheriff George Cayer.

After sorting out who they were looking for by interviewing those involved, Carrier said they learned Holmes was armed with a .22-caliber revolver that he carried in a holster on his right side.

Theriault said Holmes doesn’t have a concealed weapon permit.

Carrier said that while he and the officers were looking for Holmes at the girlfriend’s apartment, a child inside spotted the man outside a front window and yelled, “Hi, Brandon.”

Officers quickly took Holmes into custody, but he didn’t have the gun on him.

After further investigation and questioning of Holmes, Cayer found the loaded weapon nearby on pavement near propane tanks, Carrier said.

“There were three bullets in the cylinder, one was spent and two were loaded,” he said.

The gun was emptied and seized, along with a .22-caliber rifle and BB gun inside the apartment, he said.

Carrier said that under questioning, Holmes said he fired the pistol on the Isthmus Road in Rumford and not in the vicinity.

Carrier charged Holmes with carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm near a dwelling, possession of a usable amount of marijuana, and sale and use of drug paraphernalia. The latter two are civil penalties.

Failing to post bail, Holmes was taken by Carrier to Oxford County Jail in Paris to await arraignment.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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