AUGUSTA — A man from China facing charges of assaulting three state troopers when he stopped to confront police at another driver’s traffic stop lashed out in the courtroom on Wednesday, after he was ordered by a judge to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Brent Allen Elisens Photo courtesy of Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office

Brent A. Elisens, 36, was arrested in September 2021 and charged with three counts of assault on an officer, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, obstructing government administration, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, and driving to endanger. Authorities said he had stopped to confront a state trooper who had a truck pulled over in a traffic stop on Route 3 in China.

Police said at the time Elisens was known to police due to other, similar interactions with law enforcement officers in Maine.

The Sept. 22, 2021, incident escalated when Trooper Shawn Porter sought to place Elisens under arrest for obstructing government administration. Elisens kicked Porter in the chest and hands, drove a short distance with Porter in his car window, bit another trooper, and kicked a third, before being secured in a police cruiser and taken to jail, according to an affidavit filed by Porter.

At the Capital Judicial Center on Wednesday, Elisens told Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy he wanted to represent himself in court, and his appointed lawyer, Andrew Dawson, agreed to withdraw from the case. Elisens also asked that while he would act as his own attorney in his defense, he wished to have a new attorney appointed to act as stand-by counsel.

Murphy granted those motions but also ordered Elisens to undergo a mental health evaluation by the State Forensic Service to determine if he is mentally competent to both proceed to trial and able to represent himself in court.


Elisens loudly objected and lashed out at court officials in response, saying: “You guys just live in luxury at our expense.” Later, as he angrily left the courtroom, he said: “This system is trash. All of you are (expletive) trash.”

It would be the second time the courts have ordered a mental health evaluation done on Elisens. It appears the first one was not completed, after Elisens made an initial effort to schedule it with officials at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

In December of 2022, Elisens filed a civil rights lawsuit against the State Forensic Service, officials there including Ann LeBlanc, a forensic psychologist and contract examiner for the State Forensic Service, and his then-lawyer, Jennifer Cohen. He claimed they had defamed him and made up stories about him, following the evaluation of him that was not completed. His federal court filing states this was part of an effort to make him appear delusional and schizophrenic so they could have him committed to a mental institution as a political prisoner.

U.S. Chief District Judge Jon Levy dismissed that lawsuit in March, over the objection of Elisens, who later filed a motion, which was also denied, titled “Motion to Remove Licensed/Badged/Robed Tyrants and Prevent them from Obtaining Positions of Authority Elsewhere.”

While waiting for his case to be heard Wednesday, Elisens spoke in the direction of officers who transported prisoners from Kennebec County jail to court and a court clerk, saying they were being paid for dehumanizing people. All of the officials appeared to ignore his comments.

Speaking before judge Murphy, Elisens said abusive psychiatry is a severe problem and psychology is not a real science.


Murphy noted Elisens’ “strenuous” objection but still ordered him to undergo an evaluation by the State Forensic Service to determine if he is competent to proceed.

She said a new lawyer would be appointed to serve as his standby counsel in court matters, but that currently there are no lawyers in Kennebec County “who are accepting these kinds of cases,” so the courts would notify him when a lawyer becomes available to be appointed to assist him.

She said the right to represent yourself at trial is a constitutional right, but warned Elisens he’d be held to the same standards as a lawyer would be, as far as following the rules of procedure and evidence. She asked if he had any experience in courtroom legal matters.

He responded that he did, having testified in the 2019 trial of an Oklahoma man, Jerry Drake Varnell, who was found guilty of planning to blow up a building in Oklahoma City.

Newspaper accounts of the trial said Elisens befriended Varnell while Elisens was acting as a paid informant for the FBI, and Elisens testified at the trial that Varnell told him he wanted to blow up a building to spark an anti-government revolt after the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

Elisens smoked pot with Varnell several times, although the FBI had instructed him not to do so, court testimony indicated, according to coverage of the trial by Oklahoma-based The Frontier.

Varnell was arrested in an FBI sting operation after he built a fake bomb and tried to detonate it at a downtown Oklahoma City bank in 2017, according to the newspaper accounts.

In 2011, Elisens, then 24 years old and a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for using a telephone to communicate a bomb threat to the Norman Police Department, according to a news release posted on the FBI’s website.

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