A Penobscot County jury will continue deliberating Monday after failing to reach a verdict Friday afternoon in the trial of an Orrington man accused of shooting and wounding a man in 2019 outside a restaurant in downtown Bangor.
Jordan David Bishop, 36, is charged with aggravated attempted murder, attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief in connection with the shooting.
The trial began Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center before Superior Court Justice Ann Murray.
Jurors deliberated for less than two hours when the foreperson sent out a note saying they were deadlocked. Murray told them to try again, and about 30 minutes later they requested a readback of testimony of the three psychologists who testified Thursday about the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on Bishop’s actions the night of the shooting.
Because the readback will take several hours, the judge asked the jury to return Monday morning.
James Parent, 57, who lived in Brewer at the time but now lives in Danforth, was shot in the back three times and a bullet grazed his head in the vestibule outside the entrance to Tesoro Italian Restaurant on Harlow Street, according to testimony. Parent has recovered from his injuries, but testified Wednesday that he had to dive down a concrete staircase to seek cover from the gunfire.
Bishop has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the incident that began shortly before midnight on May 11, 2019, and ended just after midnight on May 12, 2019, when the shooting occurred. Bishop has been free on bail since August 2019.
He did not take the stand in his own defense but his family and friends attended the trial to offer support.
Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said that Bishop acted intentionally when he left the area outside the restaurant and retrieved a gun from his truck. Almy said Bishop’s actions were premeditated.
The magnitude of what happened can be seen on the security videos from inside the restaurant and outside it and other businesses on Harlow, Central and Franklin streets, the prosecutor told jurors in his closing argument.
“Sympathy for Mr. Parent or Mr. Bishop should not play a role in your verdict,” Almy said. “You are here to decide — what does the evidence show?”
The prosecutor said that the incident could have been a mass shooting because Bishop reloaded and went into the restaurant “hunting” for other patrons, who ran out of the restaurant to safety through a side door.
Defense attorney Don Brown of Brewer argued that Bishop was in a mental health crisis when the incident took place and was not criminally responsible for his actions. Bishop is a veteran of the Iraq War and suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, according to testimony.
Brown on Thursday called two psychologists who testified that at the time of the incident, Bishop was on a waiting list to receive treatment through the Veterans Administration. He has received treatment while on bail.
“The evidence is overwhelming that Jordan suffered from an abnormal condition of the mind that night related to his service in combat,” Brown said.
If jurors agree, they could find Bishop not guilty on all counts. They also could conclude that Bishop acted in self-defense after Parent and other patrons forced him to the ground prior to the shooting.
Parent was one of about half a dozen patrons at the Harlow Street restaurant shortly before midnight on May 12, 2019, Almy told jurors.
Parent noticed Bishop, whom he did not know but who was “visibly intoxicated,” hanging around his uncle’s truck that he had borrowed. The men got into a confrontation over Bishop allegedly urinating on Parent’s truck, the prosecutor said.
That escalated to the point where Parent and several other patrons forced Bishop to the ground and bloodied his nose. Bishop left the area but returned a few minutes later with a semi-automatic handgun and shot at Parent 10 times, according to trial testimony and security videos shown to the jury.
The restaurant is under different ownership than it was at the time of the shooting.
If convicted of the most serious crime of attempted murder, Bishop faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.