The Orrington man who shot and wounded a man in downtown Bangor nearly four years ago pleaded guilty to three of six felony charges before a jury could reach a verdict.
Jordan David Bishop, 36, pleaded guilty to elevated aggravated assault, a Class A crime, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief in connection with the shooting, both Class C crimes.
He will not serve additional jail time, but is banned from possessing guns because he has been convicted of felonies.
In a plea agreement with Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy, charges of aggravated attempted murder and attempted murder, both Class A crimes, and aggravated assault, a Class C crime, were dismissed.
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray accepted the plea agreement Monday and sentenced Bishop to 18 years in prison with all but 90 days suspended, the time he spent in jail before being released on bail. The judge also sentenced him to six years of probation and ordered him to pay up to $6,000 in restitution for damage to Tesoro Italian Restaurant and for the victim’s medical expenses.
Murray called the sentence “responsible” given the circumstances of the case and the possibility of a mistrial.
Bishop had pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the shooting that began shortly before midnight on May 11, 2019, and ended just after midnight on May 12, 2019, when the shots were fired. Bishop has been free on bail since August 2019.
James Parent, 57, who lived in Brewer at the time but now lives in Danforth, was shot in the back three times on May 12, 2019, 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 escape the gunfire.
Bishop’s defense focused on the severe impact his post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of combat in Iraq had on his actions that night. Three psychologists testified Thursday about that.
The trial began March 20 at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours Friday 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.
Because the readback was expected to take several hours, the judge asked the jury to return Monday morning.
Jurors were dismissed after the judge accepted Bishop’s pleas and imposed the sentence.
Conditions of Bishop’s probation include continuing treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder and having no contact with the victim and witnesses, the same conditions he has abided by while on bail. If Bishop were to violate his probation, he could be sent to prison for up to 18 years.
Almy said after the sentencing that he began plea negotiations with Bishop’s defense attorney, Don Brown of Brewer, on Friday after jurors said they were deadlocked.
“It was disconcerting to us that Mr. Bishop might be exonerated of what was pretty heinous conduct,” the prosecutor said of why he agreed to no prison time. “This was an unsettling event for all of downtown Bangor.”
Almy said that Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway agreed with the outcome of the case.
Brown said that his client accepted responsibility for his actions that night, even though he does not remember them.
“This is the best resolution because there are a set of circumstances that will protect the public and Jordan can get on with his life and continue working and receiving treatment,” the defense attorney said.
Brown said he hopes the trial shed some light on how post-traumatic stress disorder affects veterans.
“This is a real issue that has not been fully recognized,” he said. “I am hopeful this leads people to recognize that PTSD does exist. Further awareness and more resources for treatment are needed.”
Bishop faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the Class A charges. On the Class C charges he faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.