News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 9, 2017
Blue Hill kidnapping case ends in plea deal for one defendant

by Anne Berleant

Thirteen felony counts, including two Class A kidnapping charges, were dismissed against Ken Charles, 56, in Hancock County Unified Court on November 6 after he reached a plea arrangement with the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office. The charges arose from a September 29 incident where he and Blue Hill resident Brian Fowler allegedly held three individuals at gunpoint in Blue Hill.

The defendants reportedly detained the individuals in two vehicles, interrogated two of them about drug trafficking, and forced the adult individual to kneel, hands behind back, with Fowler standing behind him with a drawn gun. All three were eventually allowed to leave uninjured.

District Attorney Matt Foster called the November 6 court proceeding a “last-ditch effort” to avoid a trial.

Charles pleaded “nolo” or no contest to two misdemeanor charges: threatening display of a weapon and impersonating a public servant.

The lack of any felony charges allows Charles to possess firearms, an issue Foster had said was important to Charles, who was not the primary instigator in the events and has a clean arrest record.

A grand jury indicted him and Fowler each on two counts kidnapping, three counts reckless conduct with a firearm, two counts criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, three counts terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, one count threatening display of a weapon, three counts criminal restraint and one count impersonating a public servant.

No sentencing date has been set for Charles, but under his plea deal he will serve one year probation, be required to undergo mental health evaluation and comply with any recommendations from that evaluation. He is represented by Ellsworth attorney Robert Granger.

Fowler, an Iraqi combat veteran, filed a motion to have his case heard in Veterans Court, which offers deferred sentencing with treatment through a court-ordered program for appropriate candidates. Foster has said he does not oppose this. Fowler is represented by Ellsworth attorney Robert Van Horn.