BOWDOINHAM — The lawyer for a Bowdoinham man charged with threatening to “shoot up” Central Maine Community College in Auburn said his client is not a threat.

Darren Lilly, 23, who is charged with terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, made his first court appearance Tuesday.

Lilly was arrested Aug. 13 after police said they received reports that he threatened to “shoot up” the college and that he had numerous firearms, according to a statement from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff ’s Department at the time.

Police said they seized handguns, rifles and shotguns — including a sawed-off shotgun and a weapon inside a musical instrument case — belonging to Lilly.

Police said Lilly was cooperative during his arrest.

Shortly after his arrest, Lilly was released on $1,000 unsecured bond, meaning he only had to pay the amount if he didn’t show up to court. The only money he had to pay for release was a $60 bail commissioner fee.

On Tuesday, a judge raised Lilly’s bail to $500, which Lilly later paid and was released.

As a condition of his bail, Lilly is not allowed to possess firearms, or be allowed in Auburn. The agreement allows for more supervision until his next court date, something common with similar felony charges.

Central Maine Community College’s president and the local sheriff raised concerns after his initial release regarding the bail amount.

“I would say the bail as it was set is very uncommon,” Assistant District Attorney Alexander Willette said Wednesday. “The allegation was pretty concerning, we have to ensure the community is safe.”

Willette said pretrial agreements typically include a required daily phone call or routine checks to make ensure the accused is following bail conditions.

Lilly’s attorney understands the concern, but said his client is not a threat.

“I understand why the judge wanted to address these issues,” defense attorney Verne E. Paradie said Wednesday. “But, the bail commissioner determined he is not a threat. My client is a very nice young man. He works a full-time job.”

Lilly has no criminal history, a factor when determining bail.

He was accepted as a student at Central Maine Community College last fall.

Paradie on Wednesday said his client was a responsible gun owner and questioned the motive of those who reported the alleged threat.

“These are some people he knows, who have an ax to grind,” Paradie said. “It’s a comment he allegedly made to these people, that’s what this case is right now.”

The nature of the alleged threats and the fact that Lilly was released soon after his arrest prompted the community college to take precautions. President Scott Knapp said the Auburn Police Department was providing an additional police presence at the college’s expense after Lilly’s release.

Willette said the adjusted bail and pretrial check-ins will help ensure the community college and greater community is safe.

Paradie said he understands the alleged threats are serious, but was relieved the new bail was attainable for his client, who had already been released once.

Lilly did not enter a plea Tuesday, and his next hearing is set for Nov. 7. A deal could be reached at that time, when prosecutors present their case against Lilly.

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Darren Lilly, left, of Bowdoinham and a weapon he possessed that was confiscated by police. (Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Office photos)


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