Former Officer Avoids Felony in Police Academy Shooting
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A former Maine corrections officer has avoided a felony conviction stemming from an incident in which a fellow trainee was shot inside a pickup truck.
The Kennebec Journal reports 26-year-old Matthew Benger withdrew his guilty plea Thursday to a felony count of reckless conduct with a firearm. Benger instead pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
Last year, Benger was placed on deferred disposition for a year and allowed to withdraw his plea if he met certain conditions.
The 2017 incident happened when Benger and two fellow trainees were in a pickup truck in a Vassalboro police academy parking lot.
Benger was handling a gun owned by another trainee when it fired, striking 33-year-old Matthew Morrison of Mars Hill in the leg.
Benger paid $15,000 in restitution while completing community service and a gun safety course.
(Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/)