AUGUSTA – A former state legislator was indicted Friday in connection with an incident on May 21 in which he is accused of pulling a gun on a stranger in a parking lot in Waterville.
Frederick L. Wintle, 58, was a Republican member of the House representing the Garland area. He resigned on Sept. 13.
A grand jury in Kennebec County Superior Court indicted Wintle on charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, reckless conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.
An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it is an indication that sufficient evidence exists to proceed with formal charges and a trial in Superior Court.
Wintle allegedly pointed a .22-caliber handgun at Michael Seamans of Sidney in the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville.
Waterville police said Wintle didn’t know Seamans, who did nothing to provoke the attack as he stopped for coffee on his way to work. Seamans is a photographer for the Morning Sentinel in Waterville.
Bail conditions prohibited Wintle from being at the State House without the written permission of House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland. He has been free on $3,500 cash bail, and will be arraigned in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Wintle’s attorney, Leonard Sharon, has said Wintle’s actions were the result of a mental breakdown. Wintle had a psychological evaluation while he was being held, and Sharon said Wintle remains in treatment.
Sharon has said he wanted to resolve the case in a way that would allow Wintle to avoid a felony conviction; he has negotiated with the district attorney.
“We had made an attempt earlier with Mr. Wintle’s attorney to resolve it and weren’t able to,” District Attorney Evert Fowle said after the indictments were made public.
Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: [email protected]