Franklin Countys First News

Dixfield man pleads guilty to assaulting officers, ruining lawns

Kirk Hamel (Franklin County Detention Center photo)

Kirk Hamel (Franklin County Detention Center photo)

FARMINGTON - A Dixfield man is expected to receive a five-year, partially-suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to assaulting two officers and driving over lawns belonging to property owners in Wilton last year.

Kirk Hamel, 45 of Dixfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on an officer, both Class C felonies, as well as misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and driving to endanger. He also pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his release in a separate but related case.

Police responded to the Wilton area on April 29, 2016 after receiving reports of a black Camaro driving over lawns. Police located the Camaro on Tyler Street off the East Wilton Road, with Wilton Police Department Officer Gary Allen and Farmington Police Department Sgt. Edward Hastings IV discovering Hamel and a woman outside the vehicle. According to a recitation of evidence that Assistant District Attorney Josh Robbins said the state would have presented had the case gone to trial, the officers learned that the keys to the Camaro had been thrown into a nearby pasture and began searching for the keys.

At this point, Robbins said, Hamel and the woman had a confrontation and the officers made a determination to arrest Hamel. While they were in that process, Hamel began to kick, punch and generally struggle. Allen, who was hanging onto a handcuff that had one end locked around Hamel's wrist, injured his thumb in the struggle, while Hastings was kicked.

Previously, police had indicated that it appeared that Hamel had been "hallucinating" and that a Taser was deployed multiple times without effect. Additional officers from Jay and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office responded and Hamel was eventually placed into custody.

Three property owners would have testified that their lawns had been damaged by Hamel's Camaro, Robbins said. Sentencing was continued to provide them with an opportunity to be heard.

The plea arrangement results in dismissals in a number of misdemeanor charges, including domestic violence assault, operating under the influence and criminal mischief, with Hamel pleading guilty to both felonies. Hamel also pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his release, stemming from being out on bail from previous arrests on unlawful possession and assault charges.

The arranged sentence is expected to be a five-year, partially-suspended sentence on the assault on an officer charges followed by two years of probation. There will be an 18-month cap on the unsuspended portion of the sentence; Hamel's attorney, John Martin, will be able to argue for less while the state will be able to argue for up to 18 months.

Hamel will serve a 111-day sentence on the violating conditions of release charge, with credit for time served, plus a 30-day, concurrent sentence on the criminal mischief charge. He will also be required to pay a total of $1,601.44 in restitution on the criminal mischief charge: $1,205 to the owner of one lawn, $165 to the owners of two lawns, and $66.44 to the FPD for Taser cartridges.

The driving to endanger conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of a 30-day loss of license and a $575 fine.



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8 Responses »

  1. I've got a feeling we will be hearing from this citizen again........

  2. Seriously? Another slap on the wrist from our judicial system.

  3. The difference between misdemeanors and felonies? The judge suspends more time for a felony conviction.

  4. It’s really too bad that the newspaper doesn’t print how hard an individual worked between this incident and today to address his mental health and substance abuse issues. He is actually one of the kindest men you will ever meet. The kind of man who buys his neighborhood children bicycles so that they can enjoy the outdoors. He shoves for the elderly and would give you the shirt off his back.

  5. Wiltonrez why don't you serve his sentence for him so he can continue to be a model citizen.. Or maybe take a class on enabling intervention. You need help. He needs to do a lot more time than is suggested.

    What a bunch of claptrap. Just Google this turkey and tell me he is not off the rails. He will be again let's see what you have to say then. Give me a break.

  6. Kirks a great guy I hope things turn around for him, it's hard to find a person that will help you out as much as this man.

  7. I lived next to kirk years ago he is a good guy with problems he worked a long time to get that car running I knew he would get in trouble with it. looks like it works now. good people do stupid things