Lawyer Pamela Ames of Waterville speaks Jan. 3, 2020, on behalf of her client, Richard Murray-Burns, during his first appearance in court in Skowhegan. Murray-Burns is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to aggravated attempted murder, according to the district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

SKOWHEGAN — A Hartland man is expected to plead guilty Wednesday to aggravated attempted murder in connection with a 2019 shootout with police, according to the district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Richard Murray-Burns, 31, is expected to enter the plea at Somerset County District Court, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said in a statement released Tuesday to the news media.

Murray-Burns was indicted on 19 counts in March 2020, including aggravated attempted murder, aggravated assault and reckless conduct with a firearm.

“We expect him to plead guilty to multiple counts of aggravated attempted murder,” Maloney said.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said in a telephone interview Tuesday that Murray-Burns has been at the Somerset County Jail since March 2020. His bail had been set at $1 million cash.

“In Maine, we do not have a statute that allows people to be held due to being too dangerous, unless a person commits murder,” Maloney said Tuesday. “Therefore, cash bail stands in as the ‘dangerousness assessment.'”

Maloney added that in her experience, judges tend to set a high cash bail “if the individual is too dangerous to be in the community.”

Murray-Burns is to be sentenced at another time, Maloney said, because the district attorney’s office and the defendant’s lawyer “do not have an agreement on the sentence.”

The charges stems from an incident Dec. 22, 2019, when Officer Timothy Hinton of the Waterville Police Department pulled over a vehicle operated by Murray-Burns on Main Street in Waterville, according to reports. Hinton reportedly intended to question the driver about a shoplifting complaint lodged by employees at Walmart in Waterville.

Murray-Burns is alleged to have shot at Hinton, who was in his police cruiser. Hinton was wounded and continued to pursue the vehicle until other officers were able to join the chase.

After Hinton was shot, the pursuit continued onto Ohio Hill Road, or Route 23, and then north on U.S. Route 201, in the Hinckley area of Fairfield.

The chase continued on Route 23 in Canaan and ended at the intersections of Routes 23 and 2. A shootout ensued between police and Murray-Burns, who was shot multiple times by police.

Murray-Burns, who reportedly had an assault-style weapon, was treated at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He was then released to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison, where he remains in custody.

Hinton was treated for multiple gunshot wounds at MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Center for Health in Waterville.

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