A former Bath sheriff’s deputy arrested for domestic violence assault in 2019 has agreed to a deal that would dismiss the charge in 18 months if he follows the terms of the agreement.

Matthew Shiers, 37, of Bath, was arrested in June 2019 by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office after he was accused of strangling his live-in girlfriend during an argument at his home in West Bath. He was employed as a deputy with the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office at the time.

Shiers agreed to plead guilty to domestic violence assault, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine. If he follows the requirements of the agreement, he can withdraw that plea in 18 months and plead guilty to a lesser charge of reckless conduct instead. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 14, 2022.

Shiers was also initially charged with aggravated assault, a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, as well as Class D cruelty to animals. Both of these charges would be dismissed under the agreement.

As part of the deal, Shier can’t have contact with the alleged victim and can’t violate any federal or state laws. He is also prohibited from using or possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or firearms.

He will report to the Cumberland County District Attorney Office’s Diversion and Rehabilitative Unit and be required to complete a certified batterer’s intervention program. If Shiers doesn’t follow the terms of the agreement, it can be terminated.

Shiers was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest and was fired in December 2019, according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry. Shiers has worked for the agency since 2006 and only faced discipline for failure to follow a department directive, Merry said after Shiers’ arrest.

Court documents don’t include specific details about the alleged assault that lead to Shiers’ arrest. The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office declined to release the results of the internal investigation, calling it a personnel issue.

Former Capt. Donald Goulet of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said in July 2019 that the alleged victim confided in a friend, who reported the alleged assault to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation.

During the fight, Shiers allegedly “purposefully injured the dog in order to get the victim to react,” Goulet said in the previous interview. This led to the charge of animal cruelty. The animal is OK, Goulet said.

 

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