Nicholas Worthing

AUGUSTA — A Pittston man has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of stalking after police say he sent a barrage of crude, threatening Facebook messages to family members of a Maine State Police trooper who arrested him in 2017.

Nicholas J. Worthing, 30, also sent threatening messages to the social media accounts of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police – the latter of which made him the first Facebook user to be blocked from the state police page.

Worthing was sentenced Thursday at the Capital Judicial Center to serve 90 days of a 364-day sentence.

In court documents, a state police detective accused Worthing of writing a series of threatening Facebook messages in the months after his arrest in January 2017.

He was arrested after two members of the state police, including Trooper Eric Verhille, went to his home and asked him to sign paperwork acknowledging that he had received a criminal summons. According to an affidavit by state police Detective Herbert Leighton, that summons was for a separate allegation of “cyber-stalking.”

But police arrested Worthing when he refused to sign the paperwork. In subsequent months, Worthing paid a $150 fine for the charge of refusing to sign a summons.

He also sent multiple Facebook messages to Verhille’s relatives, according to Leighton’s affidavit. In them, Worthing accused the trooper of breaking “into my house” and called him “a scum bag,” “a low life” and other, more vulgar labels.

“In my opinion that’s why there’s so many cop shootings, is because of gang members like him,” Worthing reportedly said in one written message.

Around the same time, Worthing also sent messages to the Facebook accounts of the sheriff’s office and the state police. As part of his investigation, Leighton received a search warrant that allowed the company, Facebook Inc., to send him records from Worthing’s account.

“In my opinion (if) someone killed Eric verhille (sic) … it would be justified, but I know that’s just in my opinion,” Worthing said in one message to the sheriff’s office, according to Leighton.

On Thursday, Worthing pleaded guilty to stalking but said little else during the hearing.

Superior Court Justice William Stokes ordered him to serve one year of probation, with conditions that include no contact with the victims and no use of alcohol, dangerous weapons, firearms or social media. Stokes also ordered Worthing to receive an evaluation and counseling for anger management.

Worthing was released on bail after his arrest in November 2017. He will report to jail Monday, after his attorney, Lisa Whittier, requested a delay.

Authorities originally charged Worthing with two counts of felony stalking, but agreed to drop one charge and reduce the other to a misdemeanor.

Verhille did not attend Worthing’s sentencing or respond to a request for comment. However, Alisa Ross, the prosecutor handling Worthing’s case, told the court that she communicated with Verhille and he wanted two outcomes in the case.

“He was wanting to see basically that he be left alone, and also a conviction here,” Ross said.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: ceichacker