PORTLAND — An Occupy Maine protester accused of hitting another movement member in the head with a hatchet pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault in Cumberland County Superior Court today.

Christopher Schisler was sentenced to 8½ years in prison with all but one year suspended, followed by three years of probation as part of the plea agreement. A charge of criminal mischief was dismissed.

Schisler, 35, was on probation for domestic violence assault at the time of the incident. His probation on that charge was revoked, leading to a sentence of 118 days.

The incident took place on the morning of Nov. 18, 2011, in the Occupy Maine encampment in Portland’s Lincoln Park. A dispute broke out after Alan Porter began banging on a drum to wake up fellow protesters. Schisler broke the drum with the hatchet and Porter threw the drum at Schisler. Schisler then hit Porter with the blunt end of the hatchet.

Porter told the court today that he shared blame in the incident. He related how he and Schisler both handled security for the encampment.

“He was getting his life together and he’s a good man. If I could have dropped those charges I would have,” Porter said.

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