Bail set at $25,000 for Searsmont man shot by trooper
Belfast — A Searsmont man who was shot by a state trooper as police were arresting him at his New England Road home Sept. 20 is being held at Waldo County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.
According to records at Waldo County Superior Court, police charged 42-year-old Leonard Maker of Searsmont with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, reckless conduct with a firearm and refusing to submit to arrest in connection with last month's incident.
Court records dated Wednesday, Oct. 9, showed the court set Maker's bail at $25,000 cash. Upon release, Maker's bail conditions state he must not possess or use drugs or alcohol and is subject to testing for the same. Maker must also report to the Waldo County Sheriff's Office within 48 hours of his release, and he is required to report to the sheriff's office every week thereafter.
According to an affidavit from Maine State Police Trooper Corey Smith, Troopers James MacDonald and Desiree Wuthenow went to Maker's home to serve him with a protection from abuse order. Smith stated the officers also learned Maker had five outstanding arrest warrants prior to their arrival.
According to the affidavit, dispatchers advised the officers Maker "might be suicidal or homicidal."
When the troopers arrived, according to Smith, Maker met them at his front door. A window in the front door was broken out, Smith stated, so MacDonald told Maker about the protection order and the warrants.
At that point, Smith stated, Maker refused to open the door and told the troopers he was going to get a drink of water. MacDonald then instructed Maker not to leave the doorway or he would go inside the house after Maker.
According to the affidavit, Maker then lowered a curtain so he was no longer in sight of the officers. MacDonald then started kicking the door in an attempt to make entry, and was able to do so after a number of tries.
According to the affidavit, police later learned Maker had screwed the door shut to make it more difficult for police to enter his home, and that police had spoken to Maker's mom about 30 minutes before the troopers arrived at Maker's residence. Smith further stated police believe Maker's mother alerted her son to the fact that police were on their way to his home to arrest him.
Maker later told police he was aware the troopers were coming to his home to arrest him.
After MacDonald successfully kicked the door in, Smith stated, Maker met him at the entryway.
"When Trpr. MacDonald stepped into the entryway, he was immediately confronted by Maker who was pointing a shotgun at Trpr. MacDonald's midsection from only inches away," stated Smith in the affidavit. "The investigation revealed the single shot shotgun had a slug chambered and the hammer was in the fully cocked and ready to fire position."
In response, MacDonald fell back out of the doorway to take cover and fired his weapon from around a corner, according to the affidavit. MacDonald shot Maker in the hand, and Maker dropped the shotgun.
The affidavit stated MacDonald attempted to detain Maker but Maker pulled away, and a struggle ensued between the two inside the home. The officer sprayed Maker with pepper spray, stated Smith, and pushed Maker outside, where he and Wuthenow detained him.
MacDonald later stated when he saw Maker in the doorway with the shotgun, he was in fear for his life.
When police interviewed him after the fact, Maker said he was not suicidal but that he was depressed because he knew he had to go to jail. He further stated that when he pointed the gun at MacDonald he "had not really thought about what he was going to do but was trying to buy himself some more time to think before going back to jail."
The affidavit stated Maker did not blame the trooper for shooting him because he "did the only thing he could have done" in the situation Maker created.
An official at Waldo County Jail confirmed Maker remained in custody as of Friday afternoon, Oct. 18.
Maker is scheduled to appear at Waldo County Superior Court for a status conference Monday, Dec. 2.