AUGUSTA — Reginald McBride, a defendant with many names, pleaded guilty Friday to reckless conduct with a firearm in a June 2016 exchange of gunfire in the Augusta Walmart parking lot.

McBride, of Harlem, New York, who refused to identify himself by that name in the courtroom, instead saying he was Kweiasia Darrin, entered the plea in front of Justice William Stokes at the Capital Judicial Center.

McBride carries a dozen aliases on charging documents in both federal and state court, generally with some variation of his name, but also including Sunny — sometimes spelled “Sonny” — Anthony Walker, Reginald Washington and John Doe. He also has a variety of birth dates, which make him anywhere from 41 to 47. His attorney says he is 47.

On Friday, Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh told Stokes that the defendant was the same person apprehended by police after fleeing the shooting scene.

“He acknowledged being involved in these events,” Cavanaugh said.

This was the second sentencing hearing for McBride within 10 days.


On Nov. 27, he was sentenced in federal court in Bangor to additional weapons and drug charges related to the June 26, 2016, incident.

The sentence there included 88 months plus 201 days on the charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession with intent to distribute heroin. That is to be followed by 60 months on the conviction for using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime.

It adds up to about 13 years, and the six-year sentence imposed in state court Friday will run at the same time.

In addition to pleading guilty to the reckless-conduct charge, McBride entered no-contest pleas to charges of aggravated trafficking in heroin that occurred also June 26, 2016, and aggravated trafficking in heroin April 6, 2016, also in Augusta.

McBride and his attorney, Pam Ames, told the judge that the pleas were entered because they believe he could be convicted if a jury believed the state’s evidence in the trafficking cases.

Cavanaugh described the events of June 26, 2016, saying McBride rode to Walmart in a car driven by Samantha Tupper, of Augusta, and that was parked next to a vehicle driven by Frankie DeJesus, whose sister Diana Davis was in the passenger seat.


“The two men exchanged gunfire there in the Walmart parking lot. Then the four people got out and there were fisticuffs,” Cavanaugh said. “It stopped because a number of civilians shopping and going about their business, some having their own weapons … stopped the fight.”

Cavanaugh said Tupper and McBride drove away, and police found them sitting in the vehicle outside her father’s house.

“When he was arrested, he had a block of heroin over 40 grams, $517 and a 9 mm handgun,” Cavanaugh said.

He added that three other guns were recovered from the vehicle, including one near where McBride had been sitting and two others in the trunk in a suitcase with his name on it.

As part of the plea negotiations, McBride did not contest the forfeiture of the firearms or the money, but he told the judge that the money was not related to the drugs.

“I wasn’t selling drugs,” he said.


“In the state’s view, the shootout in the Walmart parking lot is reckless for everybody involved,” Cavanaugh said, adding, “They’re not very good shots, which is part of why these bullets were flying around.”

McBride told the judge that he fired the shots to defend Tupper and himself.

“They were trying to harm us,” he said.

McBride also said he was not involved in drug dealing, but he did like to party.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley prosecuted the second state case involving the April 6, 2016, aggravated trafficking charge, saying that a person cooperating with Maine Drug Enforcement Agents and wearing a wire bought heroin from McBride, who was in a car at the Family Dollar parking lot.

McBride said this was a case of misidentification and that he was in New York with his children at that time, and not in Maine.


“I’m sure that this guy kind of resembles me in certain ways,” he told the judge.

Stokes suspended the two $400 fines that accompany the drug convictions after Ames said McBride had no ability to pay.

She said McBride opted for the plea deal rather than face a possible conviction at trial on the attempted murder charge in the indictment, a class A crime that carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed that charge and several others in exchange for the pleas.

DeJesus also was indicted in state court on an attempted-murder charge related to the gunshots incident; Davis was charged with aggravated assault. Tupper faced charges of unlawful possession of heroin and hindering apprehension or prosecution of McBride.

Both DeJesus and Davis later pleaded guilty to federal charges, and Tupper’s case was handled in state court. She is at the Maine Correctional Center serving a sentence on an aggravated drug trafficking conviction.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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