LEWISTON — A local man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a police chase last year in the city’s downtown.

James Hill Androscoggin County Jail

James Hill, 30, of 1990 Lisbon St. appeared in 8th District Court where he entered guilty pleas to several charges in a September 2018 high-speed chase, including a felony charge of eluding an officer.

A conviction for that charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

On Thursday, prosecutors offered an agreement that would allow Hill to withdraw the felony plea after two years if he were to steer clear of the law and abide by bail conditions, including a prohibition against possession of alcohol and illegal drugs. If Hill were to violate the terms of the agreement, he could be sentenced to up to five years.

Hill also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges: reckless conduct, refusing to submit to arrest and violation of condition of release.

In an unrelated case, Hill pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault and cruelty to animals.

District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Hill was reported driving erratically on Sept. 25, 2018, in a 2007 Audi on Maple Street, weaving in and out of traffic. When police attempted to pull him over, he failed to stop, continued onto Lisbon Street and eventually pulled into a driveway after several cruisers had joined the chase with lights and sirens on.

Hill’s attorney, Jesse James Ian Archer, said Thursday his client, who is bipolar, had been having a manic episode at the time. Had the case gone to trial, doctors would have testified for the defense, Archer said.

Robinson acknowledged that Hill’s “mental health issues were at play.”

Judge John Martin told Hill “This seems to me to be a pretty good deal.”

During the next two years, Hill will remain free on personal recognizance bail and be supervised.


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