A man shot by a homeowner after attempting a second break-in while wielding a flash light as a weapon at an apartment in Richmond last March has been found not criminally responsible for his actions and ordered held at the state psychiatric hospital for the mentally ill.

Shad Allen Hembree, 44, who lived near the victims on Post Road, was placed in the custody of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services at the conclusion of the hearing last week at West Bath District Court, and sent to the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

Hembree had pleaded not criminally responsible to charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, criminal mischief and aggravated criminal trespass in connection with the home invasion on March 8, 2017.

In exchange for those pleas, the state dismissed a charge of burglary.

Hembree had undergone a series of court-ordered evaluations by the State Forensic Service for competency, abnormal condition of mind and criminal responsibility.

The prosecution had requested those evaluations after learning from family members that Hembree had been treated previously at mental health facilities and was released from MaineGeneral Medical Center about three weeks prior to the incident at the apartment, according to court documents.

One of those documents indicated Hembree did not respond to conversation or commands and was refusing to eat and take medications.

Hembree was shot in the shoulder by Trevor Whitney, who lived in the apartment with his girlfriend, Lindsey Levasseur.

Later that day, Whitney said he didn’t want to shoot the man, but when it became clear he was trying to force his way in, he felt he had to take action to protect himself and his girlfriend. Whitney, a Marine from 2007 to 2013 who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he first aimed at the intruder’s head but, before firing, aimed at his shoulder, which is where the bullet hit him, because he didn’t want to kill him.

He also said he didn’t think Hembree knew what he was doing.

“I thought, ‘I’m not letting this guy in,'” Whitney said of the early-morning incident. “I didn’t want to shoot him.”

Whitney had been preparing to leave for his job with the Loomis armored truck company when Hembree — a stranger — entered the second floor apartment at 5:30 a.m. carrying a large metal flashlight. Whitney told Hembree to leave and he did so briefly before returning and breaking the glass in one of the French-style glass front doors.

After being shot, Hembree went downstairs and began smashing the windows in Whitney’s vehicle, and then climbed back up the stairs to the apartment again, where police found him.

The state was represented by Assistant District Attorney A. J. Chalifour.

Hembree was represented by attorney Andrew Wright, who noted that Hembree has been at Riverview — the state psychiatric hospital in Augusta — almost since his arrest in March.

“Mr. Hembree is a kind, gentle man,” Wright said on Monday. “This is a classic case of an unfortunate lack of mental health services in rural Maine that led up to a tragic event that day. Mr. Hembree is destined to be a productive member of society now that he’s hooked up with those services.”

Wright said the pleas were entered by agreement.

“It was absolutely clear that Mr. Hembree was not criminally responsible for what happened that day,” Wright added.

He also said Hembree fully recovered from the gunshot wound.

Wright said neither of the victims, Whitney and Levasseur, attended the hearing.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams

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