PARIS – Oxford County expects to pay Cumberland County another $728 for boarding Christian Nielsen, the man accused of killing four people last Labor Day weekend.

Nielsen, 31, was moved to the Portland jail Sept. 8, 2006, after he struck another inmate in the head with a mop wringer, Oxford County Jail administrator Ernest Martin said.

“We couldn’t trust him around people,” he said.

From then until early February, the county paid about $15,000 to the Portland jail for his care.

Then, the two counties agreed to a prisoner swap to offset the cost of Nielsen’s stay while he awaits trial.

“They certainly didn’t have to do it,” Martin said. “I’m very appreciative.”

Cumberland County sent Drake Clinton III, 32, of Portland, who is serving a nine-month sentence for motor vehicle offenses, to Paris. But after losing his trustee position working in the jail kitchen and making threatening statements to a corrections officer, he was returned to Portland for a week, returning April 6, Capt. Martin said.

“He kind of erupted,” he said. “We thought he was a significant risk of assault at that time.”

Maj. Francine Breton, administrator of the Portland jail, said she intends to bill Oxford County Jail for Nielsen’s boarding during the time Clinton was back in her facility.

Martin said he expects the charge will come to about $728.

Breton said a prisoner swap is not a simple process.

“There’s all kinds of criteria that we look at,” she said. Out of consideration to the Paris jail’s capabilities, she will not send maximum security, female, or Portland area inmates who receive frequent visits.

Both Breton and Martin are unsure if the program will continue when Clinton completes his sentence, though Martin said he hopes it will.

“We’re just trying to manage as cost-effective as we can,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nielsen is awaiting his quadruple murder trial, which is tentatively scheduled for October. The former short-order cook at a Bethel inn was renting a room at the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast in Newry when he was arrested there Sept. 4, 2006. He is charged with shooting James Whitehurst, 50, of Batesville, Ark., a guest at the bed and breakfast, on Sept. 1 in nearby Upton; Julie Bullard, 65, the owner of the Black Bear, in her bed on Sept. 3; Selby Bullard, 30, the owner’s daughter, and Cindy Beatson, 43, of Bethel, Selby’s friend, both on Sept. 4 when they arrived at the bed and breakfast to check on Julie Bullard.


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