Rockland man going to jail for terrorizing couple with ax

Posted:  Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 3:45pm

ROCKLAND — A Rockland man who was arrested in January after a Cushing couple saw him walking around their home in the dark with an ax, was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail last week.

Richard Butler, 37, of Rockland, appeared before Judge Susan Sparaco on April 13 in Knox County Unified Court, and pleaded guilty to criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to three years in jail, with all but three months suspended. The charges of unlawful furnishing of a scheduled drug and possession of a scheduled drug were both dismissed.

Butler will also serve two years of probation following his release from jail, and must pay $959.13 in restitution to the victims.

According to the police affidavit filed in court, Knox County Sheriff Deputies responded to a residence on Cushing Road, in Cushing, at about 12:45 a.m. on Jan. 8, regarding a complaint of an unknown male walking around a house with an ax, seemingly agitated, and looking into the windows. The victims also saw another male in a car in their driveway.

Just prior to deputies’ arrival, the man in question had gotten back into the vehicle in which he had arrived and backed out of the driveway, but had gotten stuck across the road, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies Jeremy Joslyn and Alicia Gordon approached the vehicle and found two men in it. As Joslyn was standing at the vehicle's passenger side making contact with the men, the passenger reached down to where a knife was on the floor, police said.

Joslyn drew his weapon and gave commands for the passenger to show his hands and exit the vehicle, which he did, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The passenger was identified as Richard Butler, 37, of Rockland.

Deputies spoke with those inside the house, who said they were scared that Butler, who had the ax, was going to break in and rob them. The victim showed police his footprints in the freshly fallen snow outside of their house.

The ax was later found on the hood of a truck owned by the victims. There was damage to the vehicle consistent with what could have been caused by an ax, according to court documents.  .

Joshua Weaver, 31, of Thomaston, had been driving the vehicle, which was under his registration. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were discovered in the car, the sheriff’s office said.

Weaver was arrested and charged with Illegal Possession of a hypodermic apparatus, Class D, and possession of schedule drug, Class C. He will appear in court again on June 1 for a dispositional conference.


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