AUGUSTA — A judge this week rejected Jason Begin’s plea to be discharged from state supervision but allowed him to regain some privileges he lost when he began stabbing himself and threatening to harm others a year ago after being told he was going to be returned to Riverview Psychiatric Center.

Begin, 37, ended up being shot by Augusta police Officer Laura Drouin, who was cleared in the use of deadly force in that Jan. 12, 2015, incident in a report issued this week by the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

In a written order, Justice Donald Marden outlined his rationale for rejecting Begin’s petition to live permanently in the community, saying it lacked the support of Riverview’s treatment team and of the State Forensic Service. However, Marden also noted that the two groups indicated they could support an incremental return of some of Begin’s former privileges. Marden noted that the hospital’s treatment team said Begin’s request to return to the community was premature.

Marden’s order follows a Dec. 4, 2015, hearing at the Capital Judicial Center.

Begin was placed in the custody of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services in 2004 after being found not criminally responsible for hijacking a plane and crashing in Canada in an apparent attempt to kill himself when he was facing charges of gross sexual assault involving family members. He was found not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

Begin had been out of the hospital and living for a year in a group home on Green Street in Augusta when he was called to a meeting of Riverview’s outpatient services team Jan. 12, 2015, and asked about a report he was using marijuana or supplying it to other forensic outpatients at the home.

Reports indicate that when he was told he would be returned to Riverview, Begin became agitated, threatened others and pulled out a knife and began stabbing himself in the arms.

Begin was treated for gunshot wounds at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta and returned to Riverview on Feb. 27, 2015.

At the December hearing, there were no visible signs of any injuries. Begin wore street clothes, including a short-sleeved blue shirt with black stripes. One of his wrists was handcuffed and connected to a belt around his waist. His ankles were shackled as well, and he was kept in the inmate holding area when he was not in the courtroom.

While other people testified at that hearing, Begin did not address the judge. Begin was represented by attorney Matthew Bowe. Arguing against Begin’s release was Assistant District Attorney David Spencer.

Marden ordered reinstatement of the treatment plan for Begin that was approved in October 2013. That plan authorized Begin’s placement in a group residential program and required him to attend sex offender group therapy. Testimony during the December hearing indicated that during that period, Begin participated in supervised activities in the community, had unsupervised time in the community, was successful in employment and managed his own finances.

“All privileges will be administered incrementally and at the discretion of the treatment team,” Marden wrote. “Privileges in the plan will only be implemented when the Riverview treatment team assesses that there is an appropriate plan to address risk factors and his treatment team determines Mr. Begin is clinically ready to utilize such privileges. This must include an acceptable period of behavioral stability with consideration given to allow Mr. Begin to pursue limited unsupervised time in the community while still residing at the hospital.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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