AUGUSTA — A judge refused Wednesday to lower the $500,000 cash bail set for Jeremy Clement of Fairfield, who is accused of shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend after kicking in a door to enter her mother’s Oakland home.

Clement’s attorney, Seth Berner, argued for $5,000 cash bail with stringent conditions and supervision during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center conducted via video link to the Kennebec County jail. Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan objected strenuously, noting that the circumstances surrounding the shooting – during which his ex-girlfriend’s mother hit him in the head with a baseball bat – were so severe that the state initially requested that bail be set at $1 million.

Clement, 36, is charged with elevated aggravated assault and burglary and has been held since his arrest April 19, the day of the shooting.

Jeremy Clement and his attorney, Steve Bourget, appear on video from the Kennebec County Jail during his initial appearance April 21 in the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

In rejecting the defense motion to reduce bail, Judge Paul Mathews said, “The court is satisfied there is a significant public safety issue here.”

Berner said Clement has spent some of the jail time in the intensive mental health unit at the Maine State Prison in Warren. He had been receiving medication, and Berner said he has seen an improvement in Clement’s condition. He said Clement’s mental health had been deteriorating at the time of the shooting “due to a number of circumstances, including losing his children to (the Department of Health and Human Services).”

Berner told Mathews that he sought a bail reduction because “when bail was initially set, I think the court probably had only the state’s version of events and the fact that the case had attracted some headlines.”

Berner added, “My understanding is that this was a suicide attempt. This was not an attempt to hurt anyone else. He was hit from behind, and that’s what caused the gun to discharge.” The act was “reckless, but without any intent to cause harm,” Berner said.

Jasmine Caret, 33, was shot in the chest during a struggle in which, the prosecutor said, Clement “placed the gun on her chest and shot her.” Caret was treated for a bullet wound to her shoulder and a collapsed lung, her mother said.

Berner said that if Clement’s bail were reduced as the defense requested, Clement would live at his mother’s home in Benton. Clement’s mother, Hazel M. Bouchard, was in the courtroom and told the judge she would ensure that her son met any conditions set by the court.

Clement, wearing a long-sleeved green shirt under an orange jail uniform, stood next to Berner, whispering and occasionally shaking his head as if he disagreed with what the prosecutor was saying.

Madigan, the assistant DA, objected to any bail reduction and listed Clement’s criminal history, including two prior domestic assault convictions, involving different victims, from 2007 and 2009. He said Clement was placed on probation as part of those sentences and failed to comply with conditions both times.

Clement had four prior bail violations and was convicted of violating a protective order in 2007, Madigan said.

He also said Caret, the woman who was shot, was named as the victim in Clement’s 2015 criminal threatening conviction.

Madigan said afterward that because Clement is under a protective order, he is prohibited from having any firearms.

A temporary order for protection from abuse was issued April 13, 2017, in Skowhegan District Court against Clement on behalf of a woman and a minor child. The order includes a prohibition “from possessing any firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow or crossbow and any dangerous weapons.”

On April 11, Clement’s children were taken from him. Madigan said Clement threatened the DHHS workers, saying he would kill anyone who took his children.

A hearing on that issue had been scheduled for April 20, the day after the shooting

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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