AUGUSTA — A former Augusta man who wielded a knife while threatening to kill a maintenance employee at his  apartment building was sentenced Thursday to two years behind bars.

Paul F. Fay III, 38, told a judge he has severe mental health disorders and needs — and has repeatedly requested — help to manage the disorders. He said he agreed to plead guilty to several charges to get the help he needs.

Fay has been in custody at Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta since Augusta police arrested him in 2021, and, thus, is nearing the end of that two-year sentence, but plans to go from jail to a sober house in Bangor, where he and his lawyer, Donald Hornblower, hope he will get treatment.

Hornblower said Fay’s mental health disorders go back at least a dozen years, during which he has sought help but not received it.

“Before this latest (incident for which he was arrested), I went to the hospital three or four times, trying to get help, in the midst of a manic episode,” Fay told District Court Chief Judge Brent Davis on Thursday. “I need help. I needed help before. The reason I’m pleading is I finally hope to get that help. Because next time, I don’t know what will happen.”

Fay was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but two years suspended, meaning if he complies with the conditions of his probation, he would serve just two years, but could serve up to five years if he does not comply. The conditions include requirements he not possess or use firearms or other dangerous weapons and he undergo mental health counseling.


Assistant District Attorney Christy Stilphen said Augusta police were dispatched May 27, 2021, to the former Edwards Inn at 53 Water St. in Augusta for a report that Fay was chasing the maintenance man there with a knife.

Before officers arrived at the scene, dispatchers also received a call from Fay, who said he was going to harm someone if help did not arrive.

The victim told police Fay had pulled a knife out of his pocket and said he was not afraid to cut him. The man responded by saying he was not afraid Fay would stab him, after which Fay said he was going to kill the man, according to Stilphen.

She said the victim was afraid Fay would actually stab and try to kill him. The victim said Fay also put a lit cigarette in his face.

Fay also kicked in and shattered a glass door at the building.

When police arrived, Fay pulled the knife out of his pocket and threw it to the ground, officials said. He then refused to cooperate when officers instructed he lower himself onto the ground. Officers then wrestled with Fay and handcuffed him.


Fay said he does well when he is in a good environment and has the supports he needs. At other times, he said, he can have psychotic episodes that end with people calling police.

Prior to the incident at the Edwards Inn, Fay said he had been in a three-month manic episode during which no one took him seriously or offered to help him.

Fay pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, assault and criminal mischief and lesser charges at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

The most serious charge, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, is a class B offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Fay’s criminal record includes convictions for assault, domestic violence assault, criminal trespassing, theft, drinking in public and violating conditions of release, according to Stilphen.

Hornblower said with credit for time served, Fay has about 10 days left to serve on his two-year sentence. Fay then hopes to work with a social worker at the jail to secure placement at a treatment home where he would have a safe and stable living environment.

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