Knox County’s district attorney filed five more charges Wednesday against singer-songwriter Don McLean, who was arrested Jan. 18 at his home in Camden on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence assault.
The new charges, all misdemeanors, are domestic violence criminal threatening, domestic violence terrorizing, domestic violence criminal restraint, criminal mischief and obstructing report of a crime. The maximum sentence for each is 364 days in jail.
The added charges are the result of a review of the complete investigation, said Chris Fernald, an assistant district attorney for Knox County. An arraignment is scheduled Monday in Knox County Unified Court, but McLean will not appear. A not-guilty plea will be entered for the original domestic violence assault charge, and will apply to the new charges as well, said McLean’s attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta.
“At this point I have next to no information from the District Attorney’s Office,” McKee said. “It strikes me that the police had presumably all the information available when they arrested Mr. McLean, and the only charge that they came up with was domestic violence assault. So I’ll need to look into how it is that the state is now also (filing) five other new charges.”
McLean, 70, is best known for his 1971 hit “American Pie,” which he sang with the Portland Symphony Orchestra in 2013, during Portland’s Fourth of July celebration on the Eastern Promenade. Other McLean hits include the 1972 Top 20 song “Vincent,” and covers of “Crying” and “Since I Don’t Have You” in 1980.
The day after McLean was arrested and posted bail, his wife, photographer Patrisha McLean, obtained a temporary protection-from-abuse order from Rockland District Court that prohibited her husband from having contact with her. In her statement supporting the request, Patrisha McLean said her husband “terrorized me for four hours until the 911 call that I think might have saved my life.”
“He was scaring me with the intensity of his rage and the craziness in his eyes,” she wrote in her statement. When she tried to leave, he grabbed her hard and said, ” ‘I want to strangle you so bad,’ ” she wrote.
Both parties later agreed to dismiss the protection-from-abuse order.
Patrisha McLean has said she was “blindsided” by the statement being made public. She called the Portland Press Herald Jan. 21 to say that her husband is “not a monster” and that the behavior displayed in the domestic violence assault incident is “one side of him.”
Patrisha McLean’s attorney, Gene Libby of Kennebunk, said he hasn’t seen the new charges but they all appear to come from the events of Jan. 17.
“Our client is standing by the allegations that were originally made in the protection-from-abuse matter and is cooperating with the district attorney’s office in the prosecution,” he said.