SKOWHEGAN — A North Anson woman who allegedly pulled a gun on two Somerset County sheriff’s deputies in October has been indicted by a county grand jury on two felony counts of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

Theresa Richardson-Kelley, 56, named in the grand jury indictment as Theresa Kelley, allegedly pointed a handgun at the deputies as they attempted to serve her with court paperwork Oct. 10 at her home on Nault Road.

A court affidavit filed by Cpl. Mathew Cunningham of the sheriff’s office states that he was assigned by Sheriff Dale Lancaster to escort Civil Deputy Eugene Hutchins to Kelley’s home where she was to be served civil paper regarding alleged threatening behavior involving use of a firearm.

Cunningham said the pair arrived to find the exterior of the house cluttered with debris, with only a narrow path to the porch and the front door. The path was made “through the garbage, refuse and property stacked” on the porch, Cunningham wrote in the affidavit.

As they approached the front door, Cunningham noted that the microphone pack from his WatchGuard audio camera system had failed to activate. He said there were lights on in the house and they could hear movement, but no one answered to repeated knocks on the door.

He said he then heard a woman’s voice yelling obscenities, telling them to get off her property.

“The dirty curtain covering the window in the front door was whipped aside, revealing an irate woman standing on the other side of the door pointing a revolver at Deputy Hutchins and I,” still yelling for them to get off her property, Cunningham wrote in the court document.

Cunningham said he identified himself and drew his sidearm and pointed it at the woman, screaming “Sheriff’s Office — drop the gun.”

He wrote that Hutchins tried to dive to the left and out of the line of fire, but the porch was so littered with debris that he had nowhere to go.

“Likewise, I was also trapped in a fatal funnel in front of the door,” he wrote. “I had nowhere to take cover. I could not even back off the porch. I felt I was about to be shot.”

Cunningham continued, saying he felt he had no choice but to employ deadly force to prevent a “mutually fatal exchange of gunfire.”

“I began squeezing the trigger with this intent, intending to shoot the woman through the window glass,” he wrote. “As I did, she dropped her pistol out of sight and yelled at me ‘I dropped it. I (expletive) dropped it. I have a right to defend myself.'”

Cunningham said Kelley told him she did not know he was a law enforcement officer.

The gun she allegedly used was a Hawes Firearms Co. .22 LR six-shot revolver. He said it was loaded but appeared to be in a poor state of maintenance.

Cunningham also seized a loaded and chambered .22-caliber Marlin lever-action rifle. He said it appeared that Kelley “is clearly a hoarder” and that there may be other firearms hidden in the house.

Lancaster said Cunningham managed to avoid a deadly end to the armed stand off.

“Cpl. Cunningham did not fire a shot,” the sheriff said Monday. “Cpl. Cunningham’s professionalism and deescalating skills allowed this volatile situation to come to a peaceful resolution.”

Kelley was taken to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison and booked on two Class C felony charges.

She has been assigned a public defender and is scheduled to appear in court in Skowhegan Jan. 30.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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