A federal judge has rejected a bid for a new trial by a veteran who lost his claim that two Augusta police officers used excessive force when they arrested him four years ago at the Bread of Life veterans’ shelter.

Michael J. Albert Sr., now 60 and living in Bangor, sought the retrial, saying he recently found William Harris, who had witnessed Albert’s arrest after Albert refused to leave the shelter on Aug. 4, 2012, when asked by the shelter manager.

The decision on Friday by Magistrate Judge John Nivison follows a jury verdict in May in U.S. District Court in Bangor that cleared Sgt. Vicente Morris and Patrol Officer Benjamin Murtiff of the excessive force claim when they arrested him on a charge of criminal trespass.

Albert earlier had dropped his claims against the city of Augusta, the police chief and other unnamed officers. Albert had said he suffered a torn rotator cuff when officers forced his outstretched left arm behind his back while handcuffing him.

Nivison refused to grant the new trial, saying Albert had four years between his arrest and his trial to find Harris.

“In addition, although Mr. Harris’s proffered testimony might have supported Plaintiff’s version of the incident, the court is not persuaded based on the evidence at trial that Mr. Harris’s testimony would change the result of the trial,” Nivison wrote.

Edward Benjamin, the attorney representing the officers, said Monday that there “wasn’t any basis to seek a new trial, especially on the grounds of newly discovered evidence.”

Albert testified at the trial that he had agreed to leave when the police ordered him to and was getting up and moving slowly away from the shelter manager, Christian Carson, when police grabbed his arm and took him to the ground to handcuff him. The charge of criminal trespass was later dropped.

The officers both testified at trial and denied using excessive force.

“If he would have left when we asked him to leave the first or second time, we would have allowed him to leave and go about his business for the rest of the night,” Murtiff said on the stand.

Harris, in an affidavit filed in court on June 22, 2016, says he now lives in Bangor and that he witnessed the event, which occurred on his first day at the veterans shelter in Augusta.

Albert couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. His attorney, Stephen C. Packard, also wasn’t available.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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