AUGUSTA — A legislator accused of holding a stranger at gunpoint in a Waterville parking lot last spring has resigned his post.

Rep. Frederick L. Wintle, R-Garland, quit his post within the last two weeks, according to Leonard Sharon, Wintle’s attorney.

House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, said in a statement that he received Wintle’s resignation Tuesday.

“I am pleased that he made this decision that will allow him to concentrate on his health and his family, and at the same time will allow people who live in Garland, Athens, Charleston, Dexter, Harmony and Ripley to have representation in Augusta,” Nutting said. “I accept his resignation and wish him and his family the best in the future.

Nutting said details of a special election for House District 24 will be announced  soon.

“The speaker was officially notified today but knew about Wintle’s intent to resign for the past couple of weeks,” said Jim Cyr, a spokesman for Nutting.  

The news of Wintle’s resignation came outside Kennebec County Superior Court Tuesday shortly after a brief hearing at which the judge continued Wintle’s case.

Wintle is charged with charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.  

Wintle had been 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.

Wintle had undergone a psychological evaluation soon after his arrest, which occurred May 21 in the parking lot of 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 the drug dealer of a dead baby’s mother in Waterville.

Seamans called police after Wintle pulled the handgun from his waist band and pointed it at Seamans.

Legislative colleagues reported seeing a behavior change in Wintle months before the May incident; his aberrant behavior in March led Capitol Police to issue him a notice barring him from being in the office of the executive director of the Legislature. Nutting previously said he had tried to talk to Wintle about his behavior and had 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.