AUGUSTA — A former state legislator will spend 45 days in jail for pulling a gun on a stranger last May in a parking lot in Waterville.

Frederick L. Wintle, 59, pleaded guilty today in Kennebec County Superior Court to a felony charge of criminal threatening.

Wintle was a Republican member of the House representing the Garland area at the time of the incident. He resigned on Sept. 13.

Justice Nancy Mills approved the sentence recommended jointly by Wintle’s attorney, Leonard Sharon, and Acting District Attorney Alan Kelley.

Sharon said the incident was a result of mental illness in an acute or active phase, and that Wintle was involuntarily committed for treatment shortly afterward.

The arrangement calls for a 12-month postponement of the sentencing in the case.

Meantime, Wintle will serve 45 days in jail, and then spend the remainder of a year on deferred disposition. He is to report to jail to begin serving the sentence April 17.

If he avoids criminal problems and meets a series of conditions during the 12-month period, he can withdraw the felony plea and instead plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal threatening.

The sentence then is to be 364 days, all suspended except the 45 days he already served, and a year of probation.

If he is unsuccessful, he faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Conditions of the arrangment include a written apology to the victim, and both attorneys said Wintle already composed that letter.

The victim, Michael Seamans of Sidney, who is a photographer for the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, chose not to attend the hearing. Kelley said Seamans felt the disposition was appropriate.

“I would like to say I’m sorry for my behavior,” Wintle told the judge. “I’m sorry for what I did. I’m sorry if I caused Mr. Seamans any discomfort.”

Wintle said he would try to make it up to him. He also apologized to his community who had elected him to the Legislature.

Reached after the hearnig, Seamans said his main concern was making sure that Wintle got the help he needed and that the process “didn’t put him in a place where he would be worse off afterward.”

“I wanted to ensure he was in treatment,” Seamans said.

In court, the judge commended the two attorneys, as well as Seamans and Wintle, for arriving at a resolution that had compassion and understanding.

“This is a fair and just resolution to a very unfortunate situation,” Mills told Wintle. “The purpose is to see you continue to get help so this kind of behavior doesn’t happen again.”

In October, Wintle was indicted on two felony charges – criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct – and on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon. The two latter charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea on Thursday.

Wintle was accused of pointing a .22-caliber handgun at Seamans on May 21, 2011, in the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville.

Waterville police said Wintle didn’t know Seamans and that Seamans had done nothing to provoke the attack as he stopped for coffee on his way to work.

Wintle, who spent some time in jail already, has been free on bail, and conditions of that bail prohibit him from being at the State House without the written permission of House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland.