PORTLAND — Maine’s highest court Tuesday upheld the conviction of a Bronx man for threatening a Lewiston woman at her home with a stolen gun in front of her young child in 2020.

Clifton Thomas Androscoggin County Jail

Clifton Thomas, 27, was convicted after a three-day trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

A jury found him guilty of two felony counts stemming from incidents on Feb. 26, 2020, including domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct with a firearm.

The jury also convicted him of domestic violence terrorizing and threatening display of a weapon stemming from the same incident, as well as possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, a felony crime that was decided by the trial judge.

At his trial, Thomas was convicted of domestic violence assault stemming from a Feb. 7, 2020, incident, involving the same woman.

In his appeal, Thomas had requested sanctions for the prosecutor’s alleged discovery violations and the judge’s denial of his motion to dismiss the charges because of the racial makeup of the jury pool.


He also claimed the trial judge had erred in admitting testimony from a police officer that Thomas alleged contained hearsay.

Thomas claimed the court abused its discretion by failing to admit a letter that Thomas claimed was written on behalf of the victim because it couldn’t be authenticated.

He also claimed there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Thomas’ claims in an opinion published Tuesday.

Writing for the court, Justice Joseph Jabar said the alleged discovery violation centered on exculpatory evidence on cellphones that were sent to the New York Police Department.

“There is no evidence that the police had any indication that the phones had exculpatory value,” Jabar wrote.


Regarding Thomas’ hearsay claim, “the officer’s testimony supported the victim’s credibility after Thomas attacked it and was consistent with the victim’s in-court testimony. These statements by the victim to the officer were not hearsay and were admissible,” Jabar wrote. “The trial court did not commit obvious error in admitting the officer’s testimony.”

Thomas wasn’t able to verify the letter he claimed was written and sent to him while he was in jail originated from the victim, Jabar wrote for the court.

Thomas had claimed the jury pool didn’t represent an adequate cross section of the community.

Jabar wrote that, “The state, not Thomas, provided limited evidence of the proportion of the community’s population that was African American. Furthermore, Thomas provided no evidence of a systematic exclusion in the jury selection process. Thomas was given the option to continue the trial so he could better develop the record for this challenge, but he chose to proceed with the trial.”

Jabar wrote that the final point of appeal, that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict Thomas, was not supported by the record.

“The jury heard testimony from the victim about the physical abuse that she suffered from Thomas and the incident when Thomas pointed a gun at her. This evidence was supported by the testimony of police officers, photographs of the injuries she suffered, and items found in the apartment. While Thomas did testify and claimed that he did not strike or threaten the victim, the jury apparently did not find him credible,” Jabar wrote for the court. “There was sufficient evidence for the jury to have rationally found that every element of each count Thomas was convicted of was proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”


On Feb. 7, 2020, Thomas beat the victim—a former romantic partner and the mother of Thomas’s child, causing swelling and bruising to her face, according to court records.

At the time, the victim didn’t report the incident to police.

On Feb. 26, 2020, Thomas entered the victim’s Lewiston home and began yelling at her. He drew a firearm, loaded it, and pointed it at her while she had a child on her lap. He took her cellphone from her and told her he would give it back if she would let him shoot her in the leg, according to court records.

After hearing a noise outside, Thomas left with the victim’s cellphone.

Once he exited, the victim left the apartment, brought her children to safety, then reported this incident, as well as the Feb. 7 incident, to the police.

A day later, police learned that Thomas might be staying at an apartment in Lewiston. They searched the apartment and found a .22-caliber handgun, ammunition, and the victim’s cellphone.

The victim later said that the gun found in the apartment was not the gun that Thomas had threatened her with.

After his trial, Thomas was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

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