Harry D. Every, formerly of Dixfield, sits Monday in the courtroom at Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris on the first day of his attempted murder trial involving a woman and girl at their home in Mexico in 2020. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

SOUTH PARIS — A jury found a former Dixfield man not guilty Wednesday of attempted murder of a Mexico woman and a girl.

Harry David Every, 52, was convicted of five other crimes, including four felonies: burglary, domestic violence reckless conduct, domestic violence criminal threatening and domestic violence terrorizing.

The burglary conviction is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; each of the other convictions carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Had he been convicted of attempted murder, Every would have faced up to 30 years in prison.

The jury began deliberating shortly after lunch and returned its verdict within the hour.

Lewiston criminal defense attorney James Howaniec said Wednesday that he and his client were “very relieved by the outcome” of the three-day trial.


“We were really focused on the attempted murder charge because that was going to be a life-changing sentence if he was convicted on that,” Howaniec said after the verdict.

He said the defense stressed to the jury Every’s suicidal state of mind during the days leading up to and at the time of the Jan. 4, 2020, incident in the Mexico home of a woman and a young teenage girl.

Every had broken into their home and hidden in the basement drinking beer, according to police.

At the time of his arrest, Every’s blood alcohol level was nearly 0.30%, more than three times the legal limit for driving.

Howaniec said Every’s defense on the attempted murder charge also centered on his level of intoxication.

Police said Every went upstairs to the woman’s bedroom after midnight, pushed her head into a pillow and held a gun to her temple, saying he was going to kill her.


When Every pulled the trigger, the .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol misfired. He racked a new round in the gun and pointed it at her again, according to a police affidavit.

As the woman tried to get her cellphone and get away, Every fired from 2 to 3 feet away, missing her and hitting the wall, police said.

The woman apparently fell to the floor and covered her head with both hands, fearing she would be shot, police said.

Every then threatened to kill the girl who was sleeping in the next bedroom, but the woman pleaded with him not to and began pounding on the wall and yelling to the girl to wake up and get out, according to the police affidavits.

The girl woke up, came out of her room and pushed Every away from the woman’s bedroom door, which he was holding shut, then told him to stop, according to the affidavit.

Every retreated to the basement.


The woman and girl opened a window in the woman’s bedroom, pushed out the screen and called 911 as they escaped to a friend’s home, police said.

Police went to the home at 1:30 a.m. in response to a report of a man inside threatening suicide with a firearm, police said.

When reached by cellphone, Every reportedly told police he planned to finish his beer, chew some tobacco then leave the home unarmed, police said.

He eventually surrendered voluntarily, police said.

Howaniec said Wednesday that credit goes to Rumford police officers, including Cpl. Lawrence Winson, who were able to talk Every into giving himself up after a prolonged police standoff during which there was no gunfire.

Some details of Every’s encounter with the woman were contradicted at trial during testimony by Every, the woman, the girl and the Mexico police chief who wrote the affidavit.

Every had been free on personal recognizance and had been staying at a sober house in Bangor under curfew, but was taken into custody until sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 5.

He served 20 months in jail before his release. That time likely will be credited toward any incarceration imposed at sentencing.

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