AUGUSTA — A longtime patient at Riverview Psychiatric Center is accused of running amok last weekend, threatening to kill a specific hospital worker and a fellow patient and threatening to disrupt a pending visit of licensing personnel.

The accusations against Charles D. Miles, 35, who was committed originally to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1999 after being found not criminally responsible for burning down the Skowhegan Fairgrounds and causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage, were listed in an affidavit seeking his arrest. Miles faces charges of aggravated criminal mischief and terrorizing.

At Miles’ initial appearance via video from the jail on Friday, Judge Eric Walker approved bail negotiated by attorneys that includes $5,000 cash with conditions that Miles not return to Riverview and that ban him from contact with five Riverview employees.

Capitol Police Sgt. Mark Brown says in the affidavit that Miles threw an Xbox controller against the wall and used a cribbage board to break windows in a hallway, a scanner for the elevator, an exit sign and a globe. He also slammed his head against windows, repeatedly saying “I’m going to kill one of the staff here. They are not listening to me. They don’t think I’ll do it. I’m going to kill one of the staff here,” according to Brown’s affidavit, which was filed Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Miles is accused of doing $4,370 worth of damage to the hospital.

The episode Sunday at the state’s only forensic hospital — dealing with patients who are or have been accused of crimes — is the latest in a series of problems experienced by the hospital over the past year. It lost federal funding a year ago, and the hospital superintendent was replaced in March following a particularly vicious attack by a patient on a mental health worker. That action led to the hospital contracting for corrections officers armed with stun guns to watch patients deemed dangerous, and attracted the attention of federal regulators.


At the time Miles allegedly was committing the offenses, one Riverview employee said she heard him say, “I know how to really (expletive) people up and I plan on doing it when licensing is here next week.”

Apparently during the rant, he also referred to a nurse who was struck last month by a chair, allegedly by another Riverview patient, saying that nurse did not deserve to be harmed, but another employee does. According to a witness statement referenced by Brow, Miles also threatened to continue to harm staff members and fellow patients and destroy property until he got to jail.

Miles lay down on the floor with his hands behind his back when Capitol Police arrived, Brown said. But later, when taken to a separate room, he broke a glass cover over a light in the room and threatened to use a broken piece of it to cut someone else, according to Brown’s affidavit.

The affidavit also includes a mental health evaluation of Miles’ outburst by Dr. Brendan Kirby, the hospital’s clinical director, who reviewed medical staff notes about the incident.

Kirby concluded that Miles’ behavior was “goal-directed and premeditated to meet his stated goals without evidence of psychotic or delirious symptoms that might compromise his capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.”

Despite the finding of not criminally responsible for the Skowhegan Fairgrounds fire, Miles has been found guilty and sentenced to prison for escaping from the forensic unit of Riverview’s predecessor, the Augusta Mental Health Institute.


He also was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for making threats against the president in the early 2000s related to his anger about a war.

Miles was back at Riverview in January 2013.

In March 2014, Miles pleaded guilty to terrorizing Riverview staff members by threatening to kill a person there and to criminal mischief. He was ordered to serve four months in jail for those offenses.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, whose office prosecutes criminal offenses occurring at Riverview in Augusta, said Friday, “The Legislature has to do something about the few people at Riverview that are preventing it from being a hospital. We need a separate location for people who can’t function in the environment. It’s not fair to the other people who can be helped.”

During the hearing via video link from the Kennebec County jail, Miles was represented by attorney Lisa Whittier. Attorney Hank Hainke, who usually represents Miles in petitions to change the conditions under which he is held at Riverview, was appointed to represent him in the criminal case.

Miles’ case was handled separately, and he was brought into the jail hearing room with his handcuffs attached to a chain leading to shackles around his ankles. His head was shaved, and the 6-foot-2 Miles responded with short answers to the judge’s questions.


The intent is to have Miles held in the special mental health unit at the Maine State Prison in Warren while the charges are pending.

“The situation at Riverview has gotten very serious,” Assistant District Attorney David Spencer told Walker in support of the arrangement. “The staff is afraid of this gentleman. The facility is at the point where it cannot operate with him there.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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