PORTLAND — A former Fayette woman at the center of an 81/2-hour police standoff in 2005 was sentenced Monday in federal court to time served — about four months — for telephone harassment of government officials, including judges involved in the dismissal of lawsuits over the incident.

Charlotte Bea Palm, 50, was also sentenced to one year of supervised release. The conditions include a ban on firearms and any other dangerous weapons, mental health treatment as recommended by her probation officer and a requirement to take medication prescribed to her.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante noted that Palm has battled mental illness much of her life and was under increased stress when she made the harassing phone calls to officials earlier this year. In sentencing Palm to time served, as recommended by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gunnison, Laplante said she did not appear to be a lifelong troublemaker.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, the recommendation for Palm was four to 10 months of incarceration, with one year of supervised release, or one to five years probation.

Laplante and Gunnison normally work in New Hampshire. The federal judges in Maine were recused from the case.

Palm, who now lives in Cape Coral, Fla., has been in custody since her arrest in July. She pleaded guilty to one count of telephone harassment last month.

She entered the courtroom with her ankles shackled and her hands cuffed behind her. She cried after her hands were uncuffed and she sat down next to her court-appointed lawyer.

“It’s been a very sobering experience for her. She’s extremely remorseful,” said David Beneman, the federal defender representing Palm.

On July 23, 2005, rescue workers went to Palm’s home in Fayette because of a reported medical situation involving Palm’s mother. After their arrival, Palm’s husband, Jason, gave a handgun to the fire chief and said his wife was homicidal, suicidal and armed with a loaded handgun.

Officers from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police, including members of the tactical and crisis negotiation teams, were called in. Palm surrendered after authorities used tear gas on the house.

She was taken to the emergency room of MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta and was then committed to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston for psychological evaluation. A search of the house turned up a .22-caliber rifle, a 9mm pistol and three spent 9mm cartridges, according to the plea agreement filed in federal court.

The Palms filed lawsuits in 2007 against law enforcement officers, prosecutors and a St. Mary’s doctor. U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby dismissed the suits as recommended by U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk.

It’s not clear what prompted Palm to make a series of phone calls to Maine judicial and public safety officials in May.

The calls were sometimes laced with profanities and statements like “You are gonna find out the hard way who I am.” The calls were traced to a Florida phone number listed in Jason Palm’s name.

The first call described in the plea agreement was to Kravchuk’s home on the night of May 23. Two days later, Palm made nine calls to Kravchuk and Hornby, and to officers who had been involved in the 2005 incident, including the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police.

Palm had been charged with criminal threatening in connection with the 2005 standoff. Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle said Monday that the charge is being dismissed, saying the complaining witness, Jason Palm, is no longer cooperating and is no longer in Maine.

“We’ve made an assessment that after more than six years, this case is no longer prosecutable,” he said.


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