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Barton shooter gets suspended sentence

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copyright the Chronicle January 31, 2018


NEWPORT — Law enforcement officers combed Barton a year and a half ago after callers reported a man yelling and shooting on Lincoln Avenue, not far from the Circle K mini-mart. The village was abuzz for several hours, and officials took the precaution of locking down the Barton Graded School.

On January 23, Judge Michael Kupersmith, sitting in the Criminal Division of Orleans County Superior Court, wrote the last chapter of the story by giving Orleans resident Max Pickel, 32, a suspended sentence of up to two years.

Mr. Pickel pled guilty to reckless endangerment and unlawful trespass. He entered a plea of no contest to aggravated disorderly conduct by threatening bodily injury or violence, and to a separate charge of violating an abuse prevention order.

In her account of the day, State Police Sergeant Debra Munson said someone called from the Circle K in Barton on August 29, 2016. The caller said a man was “screaming and hollering threats to kill people and shooting a gun.”

Sergeant Munson and Trooper Marie Beland went to investigate but heard no yelling or gunshots. Nevertheless, other troopers, members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, and U.S. Border Patrol agents were called to the area.

A man told police he was working nearby and heard someone yelling, but paid it no mind. The man said the shouting started up again around two hours later.

This time, the man said, the person shouting threatened to shoot him in the face. He said he then heard a gunshot.

Police searched a nearby home, whose owner said it should have been deserted. They found a bullet hole in one window and a backpack with Mr. Pickel’s identification card inside.

After a nearly three-hour search all the officers left the area.

A short while later someone called and told police the man they were looking for was in a culvert on Lincoln Avenue. He identified the man as Mr. Pickel.

Sergeant Munson and Sergeant Michael LaCourse went back to the area. They said Mr. Pickel was sitting in a culvert with a pistol next to him on the ground.

Police said he surrendered without any problem, telling the officers he had not been having a good day and he “lost it and went crazy.”

Mr. Pickel told law enforcement that some “rednecks” harassed him, and in anger he randomly fired a shot.

He told Sergeant Munson he had been homeless for quite a while, sleeping at the Candlepin restaurant. Mr. Pickel said he went into the house when he needed something but couldn’t sleep there because it was infested with bedbugs.

The owner of the house had told him to stay away from her property since he was a child, Mr. Pickel admitted.

A woman called police to Derby on August 28 and said Mr. Pickel was in violation of the abuse prevention order she had obtained.

In a second affidavit, Sergeant Munson said the woman and a friend saw Mr. Pickel go into an apartment in the same complex in which she lived. The order barred him from being within 300 feet of the woman or her daughter, and the apartment was closer.


Work crew sentence for domestic assault


Judge Kupersmith ordered Fred A. Bent, 45, of North Troy to put in ten days of a 12-to-24-month sentence on a state work crew. He suspended the rest of the sentence, which he imposed after Mr. Bent pled guilty to domestic assault and interfering with access to emergency services.

Trooper Jeff Ferrier’s affidavit says the State Police dispatcher got a call on May 21 from a woman who said Mr. Bent punched her in the head several times. She said he was in the shower and she had locked herself in a room.

Trooper Ferrier went to Mr. Bent’s home and spoke with him. He said he bumped into the woman while the two were arguing.

She said Mr. Bent punched her several times in the back of the head and face. When the woman told Mr. Bent she was going to call the police he took her phone, removed the batteries and threw them.

While he showered, she found them and called for help.

contact Joseph Gresser at [email protected]

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