Lobsterman given 45 days for shooting attempt
Rockland — James R. Simmons, 37, of Friendship was sentenced Sept. 17 to 45 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges of criminal threatening and reckless conduct in Knox County Superior Court.
Simmons was charged after police said he shot his rifle at another man after he thought the victim had cut lines to his lobster traps.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of Oxycodone and Tramadol and was sentenced to 45 days, to be served concurrently.
The sentencing followed an agreement to reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, said Simmons' lawyer, Steven Peterson of West Rockport.
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald, who prosecuted the case, said the charges were reduced because there was proof problems with the evidence, and the court faced a likely self-defense claim by the defense attorney.
Initially, the victim supported the reduction, Fernald said, but on the day of the court case the victim said he objected.
"It was too late, because the agreement had been made," Fernald said.
According to the Knox County Sheriff's affidavit, the victim said he saw Simmons at Wallace's Lobster Wharf on Dec. 4 and said Simmons ran to his truck, grabbed a rifle, and began shooting at him. Simmons said he would soon kill the man, the affidavit said.
The affidavit stated that the victim said Simmons accused him of cutting the lines to his lobster traps, which the victim denied.
Peterson said the case could have been tried as self-defense after the victim allegedly made threats against Simmons and his wife.
Simmons will be placed on probation for one year. He is to have no contact with the victim and consume no alcohol or illegal drugs. He is prohibited from having a gun, but he may have a bow and arrow or crossbow for hunting, the court file stated.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or gchappell@courierpublicationsllc.