May 28, 2024
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Man in machete incident appears in court

DOVER-FOXCROFT – A Chesuncook seasonal resident, who was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after a September confrontation with another resident in the remote territory, made his initial court appearance Monday in 13th District Court.

Francis Henry, 61, of Norridgewock was arrested in September when he allegedly pulled out a machete and started “flailing” it at Chesuncook Lake House owner David Surprenant during a feud.

Henry and a handful of other longtime landowners in Chesuncook started feuding with the Surprenant family in 2005 over the location of a section of Main Street. The feuding has since spilled over to other aspects of the community, including the community gravel pile, which is what prompted the Sept. 5 incident, according to police.

In court Monday, Henry’s attorney, Charles Cox of Newport, said his client denied having a machete during the confrontation, and noted that Surprenant had been armed with a gun.

No machete was found during a search of the gravel pit area, according to police, but the confrontation was tape-recorded by Surprenant.

District Court Judge Kevin Stitham on Monday maintained the $500 cash bail that was imposed when Henry was arrested. As a condition of his bail, Henry may not have direct or indirect contact with Surprenant.

Another bail condition that prohibited Henry from returning to Chesuncook until the case is settled was lifted by Stitham on Monday at the request of Cox.

Stitham did, however, order Henry to give 24 hours’ notice to the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department before he travels to the small community.

A status conference on the matter was scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 2, in the courtroom.

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