AUGUSTA — A Clinton man who drove away from his home last August before police got there in response to a report of a family argument pleaded guilty Wednesday to domestic violence criminal threatening.

Joseph Gagnon, 32, was sentenced to serve an initial 45 days of a 364-day sentence during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center. The remainder of the time was suspended, and Gagnon was placed on probation for two years with conditions banning him from possessing or using alcohol and illegal drugs. Gagnon also was ordered to attend a Certified Batterer Intervention program.

While the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan, sought to prohibit direct contact between Gagnon and the woman who called for help, the judge allowed it.

The woman told Justice William Stokes at Wednesday’s hearing that she did not feel that either she or her daughter were in danger from Gagnon.

She said she wanted to be able to have contact and to see that Gagnon received help for a heroin problem.

“I’m going to allow contact,” Stokes said. “I’m going to respect your wishes.”

Gagnon’s attorney, John O’Donnell, also spoke in favor of allowing direct contact.

At the time of the offense, Aug. 25, 2016, then-Kennebec County Sheriff Ryan Reardon said Gagnon was described by the woman as having been drinking and saying he would “take her down and anyone else who come inside the house.” And when Gagnon was asked if he was suicidal, he reportedly replied that he wanted “to end it.”

Gagnon also allegedly threatened the woman and girl.

Gagnon turned himself in at the Clinton Police Department several hours after police started looking for him.

Gagnon also pleaded guilty to a charge of violating conditions of release that occurred Jan. 25-31, 2017.

Madigan said Gagnon had two prior drug convictions and a terrorizing conviction.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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