December 14, 2013

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Attorney Curtis Rice stands with his client James Reynolds during arraignment at Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris on Friday.

West Paris man shot by trooper pleads not guilty

By Matt Byrne
Staff Writer

SOUTH PARIS — A mentally ill young man who was shot by a state trooper in June was arraigned Friday in Oxford County Superior Court on charges of burglary, theft of a gun and criminal threatening.

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of James Reynolds, 18, of West Paris by his attorney, Curtis Rice.

Justice Robert Clifford released Reynolds on personal recognizance but with a number of conditions.

At the request of Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor, the judge ordered that during his release, Reynolds not have contact with Charles Coughlin, the owner of the seasonal camp on Roy Road in West Paris that Reynolds allegedly burglarized on June 8.

Reynolds also was ordered not to possess illegal drugs, alcohol or weapons; to maintain his regimen of medication; and to continue mental health treatment. His next court date was not determined at the brief arraignment, at which Rice was granted 45 days to file motions in the case.

Shortly after the alleged break-in, Reynolds was confronted by Maine State Police Trooper Jason Wing.

According to Wing, Reynolds was carrying a rifle and another object, later identified as an ammunition holder. Wing repeatedly commanded Reynolds to drop the weapon. Instead, Reynolds uttered an obscenity at Wing and pointed the gun at the trooper, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which investigates all uses of deadly force by police. Wing fired three rounds, striking Reynolds in the head, arm and leg.

The attorney general’s office found Wing’s use of deadly force justified.

Reynolds is bipolar and schizophrenic, according to his mother, and at the time of his confrontation with Wing was believed to be a danger to himself.

Wing was placed back on active patrol in July.

It was the trooper’s second use of deadly force since he joined the state police in 2008.

That same year, he fired a rifle into the windshield of a fleeing suspect in the Oxford County town of Mexico.

The suspect allegedly drove his truck toward officers, prompting Wing to shoot. The man was apprehended, no one was injured, and Wing was found justified in that shooting by the attorney general’s office.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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