AUGUSTA — A former state legislator formally entered not guilty pleas Tuesday to an indictment accusing him of pointing a gun at a man in a Waterville parking lot last May.

Frederick L. Wintle, 59, of Garland, was arraigned in Kennebec County Superior Court on charges of criminal threatening, reckless conduct and having a concealed weapon.

At the time, Wintle was a Republican legislator representing District 24, which serves Athens, Charleston, Dexter, Garland, Harmony and Ripley. He resigned his post in September.

Justice Michaela Murphy told Wintle on Tuesday that the criminal threatening and reckless conduct charges were felonies, each carrying a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. The arraignment proceeding, where Wintle stood next to attorney Leonard Sharon lasted about one minute.

Wintle’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 3.

On May 21, Wintle allegedly pointed a .22-caliber handgun at Michael Seamans, of Sidney, in the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville.

Waterville police who investigated the incident said Wintle didn’t know Seamans and that Seamans did nothing to provoke the attack as he stopped for coffee on his way to work. Seamans is a photographer for the Morning Sentinel.

Wintle’s colleagues reported his behavior had been out of character several months before his arrest in Waterville. He had also been issued a trespass notice to keep him away from the office of the executive director of the Legislature after Wintle had complained repeatedly about the condition of the U.S. flag flying over the State House. Capitol Police said he was accosting office staff.

Wintle, a 20-year Air Force veteran, has no criminal record.

Sharon has said that Wintle’s actions were the result of a mental breakdown and Sharon previously said he wanted to resolve the case in a way that would allow Wintle to avoid a felony conviction. Wintle spent some time in jail and has undergone psychological treatment since his May 21 arrest. He is free on bail.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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