LEWISTON — A local man who tore out air conditioning units and rained down debris on police and city vehicles while spewing profanities during a seven-hour standoff from a downtown rooftop nearly a year ago expressed remorse for his actions Thursday.

Branden R. Staples, 36, pleaded guilty in 8th District Court to one related felony and four misdemeanors, his calm demeanor markedly different from the man who went on a prolonged rampage May 28, 2023.

“The shame that I see in myself being in the newspaper and all the news from being up on the rooftop. That’s not me,” he told Judge Sarah Churchill on Thursday after admitting to his criminal behavior.

Staples, who was addicted to methamphetamine and heroin, has been sober since his arrest, coming up on one year, the longest period he has gone without using drugs, he said.

He credited his sobriety, in part, to a six-month program at a drug rehabilitation program in Lewiston from which he graduated April 22.


Since then, he has continued to go to group meetings and to get help from his substance abuse counselor and a case manager, he said.

Staples said he had a job interview scheduled for Friday at a local company.

His relationship with his four children, ranging in age from 5 to 15 has “significantly gotten better” since he started his recovery, he said.

“I think that each and every day is a battle and they know that, but they’re showing their support,” he said.

“And I guess there’s people in the community who know how good of a heart I have,” Staples said. “And they know that the day that I was up on that roof, it wasn’t me, it was the drugs. So, I see that and I don’t want to lose my kids over the choices that I made. So, I’m gonna start making new good ones.”

Staples pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony assault charge. He had punched a man at a warming shelter at a church on Sabattus Street on Feb. 25, 2023.


He was sentenced to 141 days, the exact number he spent in jail before being released on bail.

That charge had been elevated to a felony because of two prior assault convictions.

In connection with the May 28, 2023, standoff from atop the roof of the Pastime Club at 45 Cedar St., Staples pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of aggravated criminal mischief. He was sentenced to the 141 days in jail that he has already served.

Branden R. Staples pleads guilty Thursday in 8th District Court in Lewiston to crimes stemming from a police standoff on a Lewiston building rooftop last year. His attorney, Jameson Hobbs, stands next to him. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal

On misdemeanor charges of assault, indecent conduct, creating a police standoff and violation of condition of release, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail on each and was given credit for that time he has already served.

He received no additional jail time.

Assistant Attorney General Joshua Klein-Golden provided details of Staples’ behavior on May 28, 2023.


A Lewiston police officer spotted Staples on the fire escape of a building at 116 Oxford St. and told him to get down. He refused, then climbed onto the rooftop of the club, at about 9 a.m., when he “began destroying things,” Klein-Golden said. In addition to ripping out industrial air conditioning units, Staples “started tearing apart the roof, throwing things toward people and things on the ground.”

A shirtless Staples threw pipes and other objects. One pipe hit a Lewiston Fire Department truck and a brick hit a Lewiston Police Department cruiser, causing significant damage, Klein-Golden said.

Damage to the Oxford Street building was estimated to be around $3,100, he said. Estimated damage to the club was $122,930; to the police cruiser, $2,817.35, Klein-Golden said.

A hearing to determine how much Staples must pay in restitution will be scheduled for another day, the judge said.

Staples told Churchill: “I hope that this will be the last time you have to see me in court.”

“So do we,” the judge said.

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