Was Adam J. Keene properly charged with reckless conduct by District Attorney Maeghan Maloney? In a June 6 article she described why she decided to charge Keene with reckless conduct after his handgun was discovered in his son’s backpack while at daycare. Maloney first indicated that she approved a misdemeanor charge because she was convinced that placing the gun in the backpack was not intentional. Maloney stated “that’s why it is not a felony.”

In fact, intent has nothing to do with determining whether reckless conduct is a misdemeanor or a felony. Reckless conduct is by definition committed without intent. Committing an act of reckless conduct with a firearm elevates a class D misdemeanor to a class C felony. If it was proper to charge Keene at all, it would have been proper to charge him with a felony. Maloney then explained further that how the gun got inside the child’s backpack “was not a conscious act.” Maine criminal law says that a person acts recklessly when he “consciously disregards a risk that his conduct will cause such a result.” If the DA believes, as she was quoted, that there was no conscious act by Keene to disregard a risk, she should not have charged him with the crime of reckless conduct at all.

Any non-lawyer can look up and read sections 35(C),211, and 1252(4)in Maine’s Title 17-A and see that Maloney’s reasoning is flawed. Shouldn’t the person in charge of prosecuting crime in Kennebec and Somerset counties have done a more careful legal analysis before charging Keene with a crime?

Steven Parker

Augusta


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.