AUGUSTA — Gun charges against a state lawmaker might be resolved in time for him to rejoin the Legislature, his attorney said Tuesday.

Rep. Frederick L. Wintle, R-Garland, is accused of pulling a loaded gun on a stranger in a parking lot in Waterville on May 21. He was in Kennebec County Superior Court for a status conference Tuesday, charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

His attorney, Leonard Sharon, told Justice Michaela Murphy that he is in talks with District Attorney Evert Fowle about a potential resolution to the case.

Outside the courtroom, Sharon said he is seeking “a resolution that will take into account the psychological issues and ensure that he can remain as a legislator.”

He said Wintle, 58, has been getting treatment and is now living at home. “He’s doing much better,” Sharon said.

Wintle is free on $3,500 cash bail, with conditions that bar him from being on the State House complex grounds unless he has written permission from House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland.

Murphy set Wintle’s next status conference for Sept. 13. Sharon told the judge he might return to court sooner to seek a bail reduction.

Wintle did not address the judge and left the courtroom shortly after the brief hearing.

Wintle had a psychological evaluation soon after his arrest at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville, after he allegedly pointed a .22-caliber handgun at Michael Seamans of Sidney, a photographer for the Morning Sentinel who was stopping for coffee on the way to work.

According to Seamans, Wintle said he was looking for someone who sold drugs to the mother of a dead baby in Waterville.

Seamans called police after Wintle pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at Seamans.

Legislative colleagues reported seeing a behavior change in Wintle months before the incident; his behavior in March led Capitol Police to issue him a notice barring him from the office of the executive director of the Legislature.

Nutting said previously that he tried to talk to Wintle about his behavior and sought out Wintle’s pastor for assistance.

Wintle, a 20-year Air Force veteran, is a writer. He has no criminal record and is a freshman legislator representing Athens, Charleston, Dexter, Garland, Harmony and Ripley.

 

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: [email protected]