WARREN, Maine — A Warren couple has been compensated $31,250 after suing Knox County
over a 2014 incident in which two sheriff’s deputies forcefully entered their home and subdued them.
According to the Courier-Gazette, Donald and Sherrie Demmons reached an out-of-court settlement with the county last fall. A check was issued to the Demmons’ attorney, Scott Hess, on Oct. 11, the weekly newspaper reported, but the settlement did not include any admission of wrongdoing by the county. The amount was allocated and paid with funds from the Maine County Commissioners Association insurance.
Andrew Hart, the county administrator, on Friday directed questions about the settlement to Peter Marchesi, the county’s attorney. Marchesi and the Demmons’ attorney, Scott Hess, could not be reached Friday morning for comment.
The Demmons filed a federal lawsuit last July for an incident that occurred two years earlier, wherein Sgt. James Moore and Deputy Nathaniel Jack were called to the Demmons’ home on an unsubstantiated tip that Donald had threatened to assault an employee of the Warren Animal Hospital.
The Warren man denied the threat and told the officers to leave his property, but they forcibly entered the home and discharged stun guns on the couple before arresting them, according to the lawsuit.
Donald Demmons was charged with terrorizing an animal hospital employee, assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and refusing to submit to arrest. Sherrie Demmons was charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct and refusing to submit to arrest.
All of the charges filed against her eventually were dismissed, and all but one the charges against him were dismissed. He served a week in jail in February of last year after pleading no contest to terrorizing.
The couple had been seeking $300,000 in damages over the incident from the county, from Moore and Jack, and from Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison.