AUGUSTA — A state legislator’s criminal charges might be resolved in time for him to rejoin the Legislature, his attorney said today.

Rep. Frederick L. Wintle, R-Garland, is accused of pulling a loaded handgun on a stranger in a Waterville parking lot May 21. He was in Kennebec County Superior Court for a status conference today on the charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

His attorney, Leonard Sharon, told Justice Michaela Murphy he is in talks with District Attorney Evert Fowle about a potential resolution in the case.

Outside the courtroom, Sharon said he is seeking “a resolution that will take into account the psychological issues and ensure that he can remain as a legislator.”

He said Wintle, 58, has been undergoing treatment and is now living at home. 

Wintle is free on $3,500 cash bail with conditions that bar him from being on the State House complex grounds unless he has written permission from House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland.

After inquiring about the date of the next grand jury session, Murphy set the Wintle’s next status conference for Sept. 13. Generally prosecutors will present a felony charge, such as the criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, to a grand jury for indictment.

Sharon told the judge he might return to court sooner than Sept. 13 to seek a lower bail.

Later, Sharon said Wintle continues to undergo treatment and is living at home. “He’s doing much better,” Sharon said.

Wintle, who wore a shirt, tie and jacket to court, did not address the judge, and left the courtroom shortly after his brief hearing.

Wintle had undergone a psychological evaluation soon after his arrest May 21 in the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville.

Wintle allegedly pointed a .22 caliber handgun at Michael Seamans of Sidney, a photographer for the Morning Sentinel who was stopping for coffee on the way to work.

According to Seamans, Wintle said he was looking for the drug dealer of a dead boy’s mother in Waterville.

Seamans called police after Wintle pulled the handgun from his waist band and pointed it at Seamans.

Legislative colleagues reported seeing a behavior change in Wintle months before the May incident.

Aberrant behavior by Wintle in March led to the Capitol Police issuing him a notice barring him from being in the office of the executive director of the Legislature.

Nutting previously said he had tried to talk to Wintle about his behavior and reach out to Wintle’s pastor for assistance.

Wintle, a 20-year Air Force veteran, is a writer. He has no criminal record and is a freshman legislator.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.