PARIS — A West Paris man charged in February with shooting a man, who died of gunshot wounds from a shooting in Massachusetts last month, had his bail slashed Thursday after his attorney said there were “serious concerns” about the state’s ability to prove its case.

John Crouch Oxford County Sheriff’s Office photo

John Crouch III, 39, of Jackson Crossing Road was arrested Feb. 6 on a charge of attempted murder, nearly a week after shots were fired at a camper on his father’s property.

According to an affidavit by detective Lt. Justin M. Brown of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Crouch is accused of shooting 19-year-old Vincent Andre Choppin Jr. of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Choppin was released from Central Maine Medical Center the week of Jan. 26, and Oxford County Chief Deputy James Urquhart said he did not cooperate during initial police interviews.  

On March 23, Choppin was found outside a building in Mattapan, Massachusetts, with multiple gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the Boston Globe.

A motion to amend bail filed in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris by defense attorney Jeffery B. Wilson said there were “serious concerns about the state’s ability to prove the case,” mainly that Choppin, who left Maine after the shooting for Massachusetts, refused to cooperate with police. The motion does not specifically cite Choppin’s death as a reason for the bail reduction.

“There are other serious questions about what occurred on the night of this event,” the motion reads. It also mentions that Crouch requested to have his bail lowered due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, and that he had a stable place to live should he be released.

A judge reduced bail from $150,000 to $5,000.

In an email Friday, District Attorney Andrew Robinson said the charges against Crouch were still pending. He didn’t comment on whether they might be reduced or dropped.

As of Friday evening, Crouch remained at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he has been held since his arrest in February. His bail conditions indicate he could be released on personal recognizance if he qualifies for Maine Pretrial Services.

Bail conditions include he not use or possess illegal drugs, alcohol, dangerous weapons or firearms, and have no contact with his girlfriend, Angelique Henderson, who was questioned after the shooting and released.

If Crouch should be released, he will be ordered to remain under house arrest.

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