PORTLAND — The state’s highest court Thursday upheld the burglary conviction of a Dixfield man who terrorized his ex-girlfriend in her Mexico home three years ago, leading to a police standoff.

Harry David Every Oxford County Jail photo

Harry David Every, 53, was convicted at trial of five crimes stemming from a Jan. 4, 2020, incident during which Every broke into the home, where a girl also lived, and hid in the basement drinking beer and later confronted the woman.

His convictions include four felonies: burglary; domestic violence reckless conduct; domestic violence criminal threatening; and domestic violence terrorizing. He was also convicted on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing report of a crime.

He was acquitted of a charge of attempted murder; an aggravated assault charge was dismissed before trial.

Every was sentenced to 15 years in prison with all but six years suspended on the burglary conviction. He was sentenced to five years on the other felony convictions, to be served at the same time as the six years for burglary.

After he is released from prison, he will be on probation for four years. If he were to violate any of the terms of his probation, be could be sentenced to a portion or all of the suspended nine years.


Every appealed his burglary conviction to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court after his jury trial a year ago in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris.

He argued through his attorney, James Howaniec, that prosecutors failed to show at trial Every knew he was “not licensed or privileged” to be in the house that night because he claimed he had a legal right to be there.

Maine’s burglary statute says a person is guilty of burglary if that “person enters or surreptitiously remains in a structure knowing that that person is not licensed or privileged to do so, with the intent to commit a crime therein.”

Every had lived in that house.

He had been engaged in a romantic relationship from 2003 to 2019 with the woman who lived in the house and who was the victim of the domestic violence convictions.

The woman had signed documents assuming legal and financial responsibility for the home, according to the high court’s opinion that was decided Thursday.


On Dec. 6, 2019, the woman ended her relationship with Every. She informed him that she would spend the weekend at her parents’ residence and that he needed to move out in the two days she would be gone.

He complied by taking all his clothes and moving into a home in Dixfield, according to court papers.

Throughout December 2019, “Every messaged and called the victim incessantly. One night, Every called the victim roughly 50 times, and she began to fear that he would do ‘something’ to himself or to her,” according to court papers.

“Every still had house keys that he refused to return despite the victim asking him to do so, and at times, he would come and go from the house when he pleased despite not having permission from the victim. The victim started barricading the doors with furniture at night in case he tried to enter,” according to the published court opinion.

“On Jan. 3, 2020, while at work, the victim received a message from Every asking permission to go to the house to visit their dog. She agreed on the condition that he leave before she returned home at roughly 6 p.m. She granted him this permission… Every spent the day there and left around 5:30 p.m.

“The victim came home and spent the night with the (girl). She went to bed around 12:45 a.m. after checking to make sure that the front door was locked and secured with furniture. At some point that evening, unbeknownst to the victim, Every entered the house through the basement. He knew that the victim did not want him there and that he was supposed to leave the house by 6 p.m. Every had been drinking heavily and had a handgun with him. Around 1:15 a.m., Every went upstairs and terrorized the victim with the handgun, resulting in the other convictions not at issue here. The victim and the (girl) both called 911 and left the house through a window. The police arrived, coaxed Every out of the house, and arrested him,” according to the court’s published opinion.

Every had appealed the burglary conviction to the trial judge, who denied his appeal. He then appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Writing for the high court in Thursday’s ruling, Associate Justice Catherine R. Connors said, “The jury could have reasonably found that one generally does not ask for permission to be in a structure they believe they have a right to possess or occupy. This is supported by the surreptitious manner in which he entered the house, in the middle of the night, through the basement. The jury rationally could have found that Every knew that he was not licensed or privileged to be in the house at the time of the offense.”

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