AUGUSTA — A man accused of firing a gun at a vehicle in Hallowell last year pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including a felony count of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

Michael Butler

Michael A Butler Jr., 32, of Hallowell, allegedly fired a gun during an apparent road rage incident that started in Augusta in October 2019.

Assistant District Attorney Tracy Devoll said a couple, driving with children in their car in Augusta, reported Butler drove by them recklessly and they followed him to get his license plate number so they could report him to police. They followed him to Hallowell where, Duvoll said, he then started following the couple and got out of his vehicle, and was seen by witnesses shooting a firearm out of his car’s window.

Hallowell police, in a news release issued following the Oct. 11, 2019, incident, said at 8:30 p.m. that day police received a report of a firearm being discharged at a vehicle on Central Street in Hallowell. Police said no one was injured as a result of the shooting.

Butler, driving his Honda Civic, was pulled over by police in Augusta, and was asked if he had a firearm in the vehicle. He acknowledged he did and police found a Beretta 9-millimeter handgun, with a bullet in the chamber and a spent shell, in the car, according to Duvoll.

He pleaded guilty to a felony-level count of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct Tuesday, in a deferred disposition plea agreement.


If Butler stays out of trouble for a year and meets other requirements of the deferred disposition agreement, including that he have no contact with the victims and that he be evaluated to see if he needs counseling, the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor and he would be sentenced to 10 days in jail, or undergo alternative sentencing. He also must pay a $500 fine.

If he does not meet the terms of the agreement, the charge would remain a felony and he would face sentencing for that charge, with his sentence to be determined by a judge.

“If things go well, the felony will go away and you’ll just have two misdemeanor charges, ” Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy told Butler, who was represented by attorney John E. Baldacci Jr. “See you January of next year and hopefully things will go well.”

Duvoll said the victims in the incident were consulted and agreed with the sentence imposed on Butler.

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