ROCKLAND — A convicted felon who claimed he needed guns to protect himself during the coronavirus outbreak is being held without bail on a firearms possession charge.

Arthur M. Andrews, 34, of Camden, appeared Friday afternoon in Knox County Superior Court on charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and two counts of violating a condition of release.

Andrews was arrested Thursday at his grandparents home where he lived.

Justice Paul Mathews agreed to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald’s request to have Andrews held without bail.

“It’s clear to the court that this combination of significant alcohol impairment and his demand for guns is as much a public safety risk as I have seen,” Judge Mathews said.

Andrews was free on bail on a deferred disposition in which a domestic violence assault and criminal mischief charge were to be dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to disorderly conduct and a fine of $250. He had reached that deferred disposition in October 2019.

In that incident, police say be broke a window and the glass cut a woman.

According to an affidavit filed by Camden police, officers were called to a residence in Camden Thursday for a verbal disagreement. When officers arrived, the grandfather told police that Andrews had grabbed his guns – three pistols – saying he needed them to protect himself. The grandfather was able to get the guns back.

Officers had to assist paramedics when they arrived to take Andrews to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for an evaluation. He became combative and struck a medical responder in the face, according to the affidavit. Fernald said Andrews was not charged with assault because the paramedic did not want to press charges.

Defense attorney Laura Shaw told Judge Mathews that Andrews wanted the guns to protect himself during the coronavirus outbreak. She also argued that his felony conviction was not for a violent crime, but for operating after revocation.

She asked that he be released on $300 cash bail and questioned whether it was wise to keep him in jail because he was exhibiting cold-like symptoms.

Both Fernald and Shaw participated in the hearing by telephone.


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