The jury trial of a New York City man on drug and gun charges that stemmed from a shootout nearly two years ago in the Augusta Walmart parking lot began Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
No one was injured in the exchange of gunfire or the fist fight that followed. The fight was broken up by two male shoppers who intervened. Both men legally were carrying guns, according to Augusta police.
Reginald McBride, 39, is charged with one count each of possession with intent to distribute heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
McBride and three others — Samantha Tupper, 26 of Augusta, Frankie Dejesus and Diana Davis, both 29, and both of Augusta and Rochester, New York — were arrested June 26, 2016, and charged in state court after the two men allegedly shot at each other in the parking lot.
McBride, Dejesus and Davis were indicted separately by federal grand juries in Bangor. Dejesus and Davis are accused of being part of a drug conspiracy that includes 16 defendants. They are scheduled to be tried this summer.
Tupper, who was with McBride during the alleged shootout, was sentenced Feb. 13 in state court to eight years in prison with all but four years suspended on one count of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs.
McBride, who has felony convictions out of New York, maintains he acted in self-defense when he returned fire in June 2016 after Dejesus and Davis allegedly followed Tupper and McBride into the WalMart parking lot.
Daniel Chavanne, 41, of Washington on Friday identified McBride as one of two men he saw fighting in the parking lot that Sunday as he and his family were leaving the store. He told the jury of 10 women and three men, including one alternate, that he first heard yelling as the family was getting into its vehicle.
“As we were preparing to leave, I heard gunshots, roughly five,” Chavanne told jurors. “I was backing out of the parking spot, so I moved my car to be in a safer position. I got out of my car and drew my sidearm.”
He said that as he approached the car where the arguing and the shots came from, Chavanne heard two women shouting and saw two men on the ground fighting.
As he approached, Chavanne testified that McBride and one of the women got into a car and drove away. McBride “detained” the other two and told them to call police. Chavanne also testified that he saw a handgun and a magazine on the ground.
The trial is expected to end Wednesday.
If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, McBride faces up to 10 years and prison and a $250,000 fine. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $1 million on the drug charge.
McBride faces a consecutive 10 years to life in prison if convicted of the drug charge and of firing the gun in furtherance of a drug crime.
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