AUGUSTA – A former Monmouth police officer has been cleared by a jury of a charge that he bought a gun for his father, who is banned from owning firearms because he is a convicted felon.

Clint Childs, 26, of East Winthrop had been indicted by a grand jury in February on a charge of conspiracy to commit possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and one count of aggravated forgery.

Before the start of his trial Thursday, the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office dismissed both the latter aggravated forgery charge and a second one filed in a complaint.

“The conduct did not constitute aggravated forgery,” Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley said. “We did some further research on it, and aggravated forgery relates to a misrepresentation of identity.”

Childs and his father, Maurice Childs, both testified at the one-day trial in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Defense attorney Kevin Sullivan said both men told jurors, “The dad was buying the gun for the son and paid for the whole thing.”

Court records show the elder Childs had been convicted of a felony charge of aggravated assault on Jan. 14, 1975.

“Dad was convicted 10 years before my client was born, and my client had the mistaken understanding that Dad could possess guns,” Sullivan said. “He’s glad the jury saw the truth: that he didn’t know his dad couldn’t possess the firearms.”

Both Sullivan and Kelley said the law in certain cases allows convicted felons to apply for permits to possess firearms or to seek pardons from the governor.

That did not occur in the case of the elder Childs.

Clint Childs had graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and had become a police officer, Sullivan said, but it was unreasonable to expect him to run a background check on his father.

In late January, Maurice Childs pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and was fined $1,500.

In March, Clint Childs pleaded guilty to violating conditions of release and violating a protective order that stemmed from an incident Feb. 19 and served a five-day jail sentence.