Trial date set in Sumner shooting lawsuit

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PARIS – The jury trial for six police officers involved in a deadly shooting in Sumner in 2000 is set for Dec. 4 at U.S. District Court in Portland.

Lt. Christopher Wainwright of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office is being sued, along with Sgt. Matthew Baker, Sheriff Lloyd “Skip” Herrick, Chief Deputy James Davis, Lt. James Miclon, State Trooper Timothy Turner, and the county, by Daniel W. Bennett II’s family. The 32-year-old was killed at his family’s home Jan. 21, 2000. The family is represented by attorney Thomas Connolly of Portland.

The Maine Office of the Attorney General found no wrongdoing by the two deputies who shot Bennett – Wainwright and Baker – because Bennett first fired a shotgun at them, it said.

The family contends in the lawsuit that the killing came about after police escalated a situation involving a mentally ill man.

Commenting for the first time publicly since the suit was filed in January, Wainwright said Wednesday that, “Unfortunately, lawsuits in this world have become commonplace, but only one side of the story is being told right now.”

Wainwright is a patrol supervisor and is running for the Republican nomination for Oxford County sheriff in the June 13 primary. He recently completed a 10-week course in leadership and management at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

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