Fisherman found not guilty in criminal threatening trial

By Staff | May 15, 2014

Rockland — A Cushing man accused of pulling a gun on another man while feuding over lost fishing gear was found not guilty May 14 by a Knox County jury.

Gary Jones, 52, had been charged with criminal threatening and pleaded not guilty.

The incident, involving two families embroiled in a feud over lobster traps being cut, occurred in October on Muscongus Bay in Cushing.

Authorities were alerted to the altercation by a concerned family member, and were told a gun was involved. Marine Warden Sgt. Rene Cloutier and Patrol Officer Mike Young were told the feud was recorded on a cellphone.

The victim told police he met his younger brother at a wharf in Cushing because several of his brother's traps had been cut. The brothers, along with a sternman, took a vessel out to assess the damage.

The families met on the water at Jones' son's boat, and the victim said Jones pulled out a shotgun and shot at him, according to an affidavit filed in Knox County Superior Court.

Deputy Nathaniel Jack of the Knox County Sheriff's Office assisted and met with Jones and his son at a wharf in Friendship. Jones admitted to pointing a gun at the victim, and said he had been told by the Coast Guard to shoot if he felt threatened, although he denied shooting the shotgun, according to the affidavit. Jones said the brothers had been driving their father's lobster boat "wide-open" at him.

The Jones said they had also lost traps from cutting.

Cloutier, Young and Jack seized a 12-gauge shotgun from Jones and five shotgun shells. The shells were 20-gauge.

According to court documents, a gunshot can be heard in the audio recording of the altercation. A sternman of Jones' present at the scene said he did not remember the gun being fired.

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