Competency exam ordered for standoff suspect

Jeffrey Barnard

BANGOR — A U.S. District Court judge has approved a motion to determine whether an Ellsworth man involved in a police standoff is mentally competent to stand trial.

Attorney Wayne Foote filed the motion Monday. He represents 50-year-old Jeffrey Barnard, who in June engaged in a 21-hour standoff that began when Ellsworth police went to the camper on North Street where Barnard and his wife were living to investigate the theft of keys to a tractor. The incident ended when a member of the Maine State Police tactical team shot Barnard in the face.

Because of Barnard’s medical issues stemming from the shooting, Foote has asked the court to have the evaluation done locally rather than in prison.

“His medical condition requires ongoing treatment that would be interrupted or unavailable during transportation and evaluation at a [Maine Department of Corrections] facility,” Foote wrote in his motion.

Barnard was indicted July 16 by a federal grand jury on one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. During the standoff, Barnard brandished a .22-caliber rifle, police previously said.

On Wednesday, Hancock County District Attorney Carletta Bassano said there are no state charges against Barnard related to the standoff at this time. Bassano said the state has deferred to the federal authorities for prosecution with the understanding that the state has the option to file state charges at a later date.

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Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander