AUBURN — For the second time in the past four months, a Lewiston man has pleaded guilty to felony threatening with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence assault in a chase and shooting in Kennedy Park in October 2014.

On Sept. 10, 2015, Albert Crowley, 21, of Lewiston pleaded guilty to those charges and also to reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon in exchange for a deal with limited prison time.

But about five days after Crowley entered the guilty pleas, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis contacted Crowley’s defense counsel, Nicholas Worden, telling him that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was interested in bringing federal charges against Crowley. Worden petitioned the Androscoggin County Superior Court to permit his client to withdraw the guilty pleas.

The court promptly approved that request.

On Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Matulis told Justice MaryGay Kennedy that since Worden’s request was signed, “federal authorities have bowed out” of the case and have since declined to prosecute Crowley, sending the case back to state court.

As part of the new plea deal, Crowley pleaded guilty to criminal threatening of Lewiston police officers with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence assault against his former girlfriend.


The charge of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon that he had pleaded guilty to before was dismissed, as was a charge of attempted elevated aggravated assault.

Kennedy sentenced Crowley to serve four years in prison on the threatening charge and five years on the domestic violence assault charge, to be served consecutively. She suspended all five years on the assault charge, and ordered him to serve two years of probation, during which time he is not permitted to use or possess drugs or alcohol, and may not have contact with his former girlfriend or own or use a firearm.

Kennedy warned Crowley that if he violated any conditions of his probation, he could serve some or all of the suspended five-year sentence. Crowley was also ordered to pay a $70 fee to the victims compensation fund.

According to court records, on Oct. 21, 2014, Crowley was at home at 1 Knox St. with his girlfriend, Brittni McBride, and their 2-month-old son. The couple started arguing over Crowley’s drug use, and he struck McBride in the head. She went to the bathroom to compose herself, according to a police affidavit, and Crowley followed her in there and struck her on the mouth, cutting her lip.

When he saw that he had injured her, Crowley apologized and the couple snuggled with their baby on an air mattress in the living room. Sometime later, after Crowley left the apartment, McBride called 911 and reported the incident, warning the dispatcher that Crowley may be armed. She also mentioned that he had assaulted her in Oklahoma and Texas and she was afraid of him.

Crowley briefly returned to the apartment, so McBride hung up the phone. He left as soon as he grabbed some money.


As Crowley was crossing nearby Spruce Street, Cpl. Michael Dumond pulled up and McBride pointed Crowley out to Dumond, who then pointed Crowley out to arriving officers Brian Bourgoin and Zachary Provost. The three officers approached Crowley as he headed toward Kennedy Park.

According to Matulis, as officers approached Crowley, he warned them he was armed.

“The defendant refused all commands to stop,” Matulis told the court, as officers repeatedly ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets.

When officers again ordered him to “stop or we will shoot,” Matulis said Crowley took cover behind a tree.

Police officers then took cover as Crowley “held his gun in a shooting position,” Matulis said.

In addition to testimony that would have been presented by police had the case gone to trial, Matulis identified several witnesses who were in or near the park that night and heard police order Crowley to stop.


Once Crowley took his gun from his pocket in the presence of police, Matulis said, officers opened fire and continued shooting until Crowley was on the ground.

Crowley was struck at least four times and was treated at Central Maine Medical Center.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Worden told the court that this had been a challenging case for Crowley because his “memory of the night in question is almost nonexistent,” including any statements he made to police from his hospital bed.

According to police, Crowley told them he took his gun from his pocket “in hopes the police officers would ‘send him to his maker,’” knowing he “would not go to heaven if he killed himself.”

Police recovered a .22 caliber, eight-shot revolver at the scene with seven hollow point bullets, including one in the chamber. Crowley later told police he had found the gun, with the bullets in it, behind a trash bin in Oklahoma.

Even though Crowley doesn’t remember the details, he did acknowledge he believed a jury could and would find him guilty, Worden said, and was willing to accept the plea deal.


Kennedy asked Matulis whether the victims in this case — three Lewiston police officers and McBride — were aware of the plea deal.

Matulis said his office hadn’t been able to find McBride to inform her, adding that the police officers were aware and had expressed frustration that Crowley was not pleading to a more serious crime.

Matulis said that frustration stemmed from the fact that these officers go to work every day where “someone can point a gun at you and you may not go home to your family,” and they believe he should be held accountable for that.

In response, and after conferring with Crowley, Worden said Crowley wanted to point out that his gun was black — not silver as officers asserted — and as far as the Police Department’s frustration, he wanted to address that he was shot several times.

“There were consequences for his actions beyond the sentence,” Worden said.

Crowley is likely to serve the four-year sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, where Kennedy suggested he take advantage of substance-abuse counseling and other services.

In November, the Maine attorney general ruled Lewiston police officers were justified in the use of deadly force when they wounded Crowley in the park.

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