Suspect claimed he needed guns to protect himself during COVID-19 outbreak

By Stephen Betts | Mar 20, 2020

Rockland — A Camden man is being held without bail after possessing guns supposedly to protect himself during the COVID-19 outbreak even though he is a convicted felon.

Arthur M. Andrews, 34, made his initial appearance Friday afternoon, March 20 in the Knox County court on charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and two counts of violating a condition of release.

Andrews was arrested Thursday at his grandparents' home where he lived in Camden.

Justice Paul Mathews agreed to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald's request to have Andrews held without bail on a motion to revoke bail.

"It's clear to the court that this combination of significant alcohol impairment and his demand for guns is as much a public safety risk as I have seen," Judge Mathews said.

Andrews was free on bail on a deferred disposition in which a domestic violence assault and criminal mischief charge were to be dismissed in exchange for a disorderly conduct charge in which he would be fined $250. He had reached that deferred disposition in October 2019.

In that incident, police say be broke a window and the glass cut a woman.

According to an affidavit filed by Camden police concerning the March 19 incident, officers were called to a residence in Camden for a verbal disagreement. When officers arrived, the grandfather told police that Andrews has grabbed his guns -- three pistols -- saying he needed them to protect himself. The grandfather was able to get the guns back.

Officers had to assist paramedics when they arrived to take Andrews to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for an evaluation. He became combative and struck a medical responder in the face, according to the affidavit. Fernald said Andrews was not charged with assault because the paramedic did not want to press charges.

Defense attorney Laura Shaw told Judge Mathews that Andrews wanted the guns to protect himself during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also argued that the felony conviction was not for a crime of violence but instead for operating after revocation.

She asked that he be released on $300 cash bail, also saying that Andrews arrived at the jail with cold-like symptoms and questioned whether it was wise to have in the jail.

Both Fernald and Shaw participated in the hearing by telephone.

The courthouse is handling limited cases including initial appearances of defendants who have not made bail.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 22, 2020 13:15

So what else is new? We sure do live in an insane situation, constantly.

Posted by: Jane Karker | Mar 20, 2020 20:57

And so it begins...(the insanity, I mean).

If you wish to comment, please login.