As the afternoon session of the trial of 57-year-old Randall Hofland got underway Thursday, Jan. 13, jurors listened to a 911 recording from 2008 of a man who identified himself as Randall Hofland and instructed a Waldo County dispatcher to make police leave the area of his home or else “there will be a war.”

The state called Waldo County Regional Communications Center dispatcher Christopher Shedyak to the stand, and Shedyak offered his testimony of the events that are alleged to have taken place on the night of Oct. 23, 2008.

In answering questions from District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau, Shedyak said he was working at the Communications Center that night, but he was handling only incoming phone calls because there was a problem with his radio on that particular evening.

Rushlau asked Shedyak if he at some point became aware of an event that was unfolding on East Main Street/Route 1 in Searsport.

“What was the first message you had?” asked Rushlau.

“An officer had said an individual had brandished a firearm at her in the middle of a traffic stop,” replied Shedyak.

Rushlau then asked Shedyak if he was familiar with the police code, “10-74”, and Shedyak explained that it is the code law enforcement officers commonly use to indicate an incident involving a firearm.

“Several minutes after the event first began, you received a telephone call on the 911 system?” said Rushlau.

“Yes,” replied Shedyak.

Upon further questioning from Rushlau, Shedyak said he believed the caller identified himself during that conversation.

Rushlau then played the two-minute recording of that phone conversation for the jury.

The tape begins with an agitated-sounding male who was reporting that police had executed a traffic stop in the vicinity of his residence and who further indicated he wanted the officers to leave immediately.

“You will tell them to leave the area immediately, am I clear?” said the male caller, who had yet to identify himself at that point.

The caller continued, saying police did not appear to have a “legitimate reason being exactly where they are,” and then added, “That means they’re out looking for trouble.”

Shedyak then asked the caller who he was, and the caller identified himself as Randall Hofland.

As the recorded conversation continued, Hofland repeatedly told Shedyak to ask police to leave. Shedyak asked the man if he had a firearm.

“I was acting in self-defense,” replied Hofland on the recording.

As Shedyak explained to Hofland that he couldn’t order the officers to vacate the area, Hofland ended the call with a final comment.

“They can either leave, or there will be a war,” he said on the recording. “In the meantime, I’m calling the FBI. Bye.”

Once the recording ended, Shedyak told Rushlau he started entering the information from the call into the computer system, and also brought the call to the attention of his supervisor, Tish Schade.

Rushlau then asked Shedyak if the 911 system can identify whether a phone call comes in from a cell phone or a land line, and Shedyak said it can.

“Can you recall right now if this call came from a land line or a cell phone?” asked Rushlau.

“It came in from a cell phone,” said Shedyak.

Shedyak also testified that the system retains the phone numbers from which calls to the communications center are placed.

Once Rushlau finished questioning Shedyak, Justice Jeffrey Hjelm excused Shedyak for the day but asked the witness to be prepared to return to court the next day so Hofland could conduct his cross-examination.

During the morning session, Hofland had informed Hjelm that he would not be able conduct his cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses until the following day because he was unable to adequately prepare for trial.

Hofland said while the court was closed due to a winter storm Wednesday, Jan. 12, he was not able to prepare because jail staff at Somerset County Jail had not supplied him with a replacement pen once the pen he had been using ran out of ink. Hofland said he received his replacement pen Thursday morning, just before his jailers transported him to the courthouse.

In response to Hofland’s claim, Rushlau contacted the corrections staff at SCJ and asked for a statement from the staff regarding what happened concerning the pen replacement.

With a statement from SCJ corrections officer Tracy Martin in hand, Rushlau advised Hjelm to “treat with great suspicion” any of Hofland’s claims that he cannot proceed due to his inability to access basic items. Rushlau said in the statement, the corrections officer said Hofland did receive a replacement pen sometime during the day Wednesday, and that Hofland traded his non-functioning writing utensil for the new one.

Hofland countered that despite Martin’s statement, he did not receive a pen until early Thursday morning.

“There is a factual dispute about what happened,” said Hjelm “I’m not in a position to resolve that factual issue.”

Hjelm added, however, that he was convinced that Hofland’s lack of access to a pen would affect his ability to thoroughly cross-examine witnesses.

For the morning session, Rushlau questioned several people who were involved in the events of Oct. 23, 2008, including Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye, part-time Searsport and Stockton Springs police officer Darrin Moody, part-time Searsport officer Eric Bonney, part-time Searsport officer Mike Larrivee and Shedyak.

LaHaye testified about the events as they unfolded during the Oct. 23, 2008, traffic detail, and Rushlau asked LaHaye to describe the demeanor of former Searsport officer Jessica Danielson after Hofland brandished a gun after she approached his vehicle.

“She was visibly shaken,” said LaHaye. “… She just kept saying, ‘I just can’t believe this happened.’”

LaHaye also recalled what happened after he asked Danielson and Moody to conduct an inventory search of Hofland’s vehicle during the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2008.

LaHaye said a short time after the two officers left for the impound lot at Alan Blood’s Towing in Belfast, where Hofland’s Subaru was being held, Danielson contacted him to alert him about items they located in the vehicle — which included a cell phone and a box of ammunition.

After Rushlau produced the cell phone and box of bullets for LaHaye to view, LaHaye identified the items as the ones that Danielson and Moody turned over to him at the Searsport Police Department.

Rushlau asked LaHaye if he had ever heard the name Randall Hofland before the night of Oct. 23-24, 2008, and LaHaye said he had never heard that name or had contact with Hofland prior to that time.

Moody was next to take the stand for the state, and told Rushlau that he had agreed to work at the Oct. 23, 2008, traffic detail. Moody stated he secured the use of the Stockton Springs police cruiser for the detail after he asked Stockton Springs Police supervisor Merl Reed for permission to use the car. Moody said he borrowed the Stockton Springs cruiser in the interest of increasing the lighting and safety of the officers at the detail.

Moody said he first noticed something was wrong when he heard Danielson yelling, but he could not make out what she was saying.

“I just heard yelling so I started to go in that direction,” Moody said.

Then Moody said he heard Danielson yelling about the driver having a gun, and he said he and other officers at the detail ran in Danielson’s direction just as the vehicle took off and turned down a dirt road.

Moody said former Searsport Police Sgt. Steven Saucier jumped in a Searsport cruiser and chased after the vehicle, which Moody identified at that time as a Subaru. He said he saw LaHaye follow Saucier in another cruiser, and Moody followed on foot.

Moody testified that after he met the other officers, who had stopped in the middle of the driveway because the Subaru had stopped and turned to face police, he joined the officers in yelling instructions to the driver to get out of the car.

Moody said later in the night, LaHaye asked him and Larrivee to take a cruiser behind the nearby Set Rental building to see if the driver could be spotted from that vantage point. That effort, said Moody, was unsuccessful.

“We had pointed the car in the direction that we thought the Subaru had gone but we couldn’t see because of the trees there,” said Moody.

Moody said he and Larrivee remained there until the Maine State Police Tactical team arrived, after which Moody went to Stockton Springs to see if the driver, who was later identified as Hofland, could be found walking along the railroad tracks. That effort was fruitless as well, Moody said.

Because Hofland was not cross-examining witnesses, as had been expected based on previous witnesses, the court took about a 30-minute recess to allow time for the state’s next witness, Bonney, to arrive at the courthouse.

In his testimony, Bonney said he initially noticed there was a problem at the Oct. 23, 2008, traffic detail while he and his fellow officers were wrapping up for the night. While picking up traffic cones, Bonney said he noticed Danielson was addressing a driver “very loudly.”

“The next thing I heard was Officer Danielson calling out, ‘Gun! Gun! He has a gun!’” recalled Bonney.

As Bonney and his fellow officers started running in Danielson’s direction, Bonney said the vehicle drove away, traveling in the opposite travel lane before turning down a nearby dirt driveway.

Bonney said while the driver wasn’t speeding, he was traveling relatively fast.

“If I hadn’t stepped back it could have hit me with the mirror,” recalled Bonney. “… I believe he hollered something about getting out of the way.”

That close call allowed Bonney to catch a glimpse of the male driver as he went by. Bonney described the driver as male, in his mid-to-late-50s with a plaid shirt, denim-type vest, a hat and some facial hair.

“Is that person in the courtroom today?” asked Rushlau.

“Yes,” said Bonney, who pointed to Hofland.

Bonney took after the vehicle on foot, following at least two other police cruisers that went in pursuit of the Subaru.

Once Bonney joined his fellow officers, he assisted with yelling instructions at the driver to exit the vehicle.

At one point, Bonney said he saw a male subject peek his head out of the car, and he alerted his fellow officers about what he saw. Minutes later, Bonney said he spotted an unknown male subject walking down the road away from the officers.

“I indicated to the other officers who were there that I believed it looked like [the subject] had a cell phone to his ear,” said Bonney, adding that he could see what looked like the glow of an open cell phone.

“Despite seeing the person walking away, did you remain in your position?” asked Rushlau.

“We did,” said Bonney.

Bonney said at that point, the officers did not know if the man they were looking for had gone into the woods, or if he had found a location where he could watch all of the police activity without being seen.

“We just didn’t know where he was,” said Bonney.

While on the witness stand, Larrivee corroborated the accounts of Oct. 23, 2008, that his fellow officers had offered earlier in the day. Larrivee, who is a night supervisor at the Waldo Regional Communications Center and also works as a part-time officer for the Searsport Police Department, told Rushlau that prior to the events of Oct. 23, 2008, he had previously met Hofland.

Describing that earlier encounter, Larrivee said while he was working for SPD, he received a call from Veazie police asking his assistance with a theft case. Larrivee said he was asked to visit the Wiggin residence, which was located down a long dirt driveway at 421 East Main Street in Searsport.

Larrivee said when he arrived there, he encountered a male who said he was the caretaker of the property and that the people who resided at the nearby residence were not home at that time.

As Larrivee left the property, he ran the registration of the gold Subaru he saw in the driveway and learned the vehicle was registered to Hofland.

While assisting officers at the scene on Oct. 23, 2008, Larrivee said he recognized the vehicle and “put two and two together.” Larrivee contacted dispatchers at the communications center and asked them to pull up the old complaint from the Veazie police, as he believed it still contained the name of the man he encountered near the Wiggin residence.

“And did you get that name provided by the dispatch center?” asked Rushlau.

“Yes,” said Larrivee.

“And what was that name?” asked Rushlau.

“Randall Hofland,” stated Larrivee.

“As far as you know, you might have been the first person to identify the person involved?” asked Rushlau.

“Yes,” replied Larrivee.

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Friday morning, Jan. 14.