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Former State Rep. Wintle withdraws felony guilty plea after completing disposition agreement

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    AUGUSTA — Former State Rep. Fred Wintle, of Garland, withdrew his guilty plea of felony criminal threatening after completing a 12-month deferred disposition agreement with Kennebec County District Attorney’s office. Wintle pleaded guilty to criminal threatening charges in September 2011 following a confrontation with a Central Maine Morning Sentinel newspaper photographer in Waterville.

    Court records indicate that Wintle drew his .22-caliber pistol from the waistband of his pants on May 21, 2011 after talking to the victim in the Dunkin’ Donuts’ parking lot. During the incident, Wintle made several confusing statements to the photographer before waving the gun and pointing it at the victim.
    Wintle has since served 45 days in the Kennebec County Jail. His lawyer negotiated a deal in 2011 which required his client to plead guilty to the felony charge with the opportunity to change it to a lesser charge after one year.
    On March 25, Wintle pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Class B criminal threatening.
    Under the disposition agreement, Wintle is still required to undergo regular mental health counseling, serve another year of probation, continue to take all prescribed medications, prohibited from possessing fire arms and to have no contact with the victim.
    If Wintle fails to complete the terms of the agreement, he would face five years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, and two additional years of probation.
    Wintle, a Republican, was elected to Maine House of Representatives in 2010. He served for five months before being banned from the State House in May 2011. He later resigned his position as a state legislator.
    Wintle had previously served as a SAD 46 director. He grew up in Dexter and joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Dexter Regional High School. He served in the USAF for 20 years.

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