A Verona Island man was found guilty this week of multiple domestic violence charges, including threatening to shoot a 6-year-old girl.

Jeffrey A. Witham Jr., 47, was arrested in June 2020 after police found out about “a very violent domestic violence incident which had been occurring for several hours,” the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said at the time.

Witham was accused of punching a woman in the face and attempting to strangle her until she passed out in front of her daughter, according to a police affidavit filed in court. He also threatened the woman with a baseball bat, told the woman he was going to shoot her daughter, who was present at the time, and threatened to shoot both of them, police said.

At times during the prolonged episode, Witham brandished a blue pistol at the woman and girl and at one point while they all were in a car he held the gun up under the woman’s chin and threatened to pull the trigger, police said.

The girl “was in the backseat crying begging Jeffery not to shoot,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Witham was convicted Wednesday at trial of two counts of kidnapping, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, criminal threatening, assault, illegal possession of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child, among other charges.

A sentencing date for Witham has not yet been set.

Witham has an extensive criminal history that extends back to 1996 and includes prior convictions on domestic violence charges or other crimes in Hancock, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. The history includes convictions for drug possession, burglary, criminal threatening, stalking, assault, forgery, theft, and multiple violations of conditions of release and of protection orders.

Witham also is facing drug trafficking charges in connection with a separate arrest on March 9, 2022, in Verona, which are still pending in court.

In that case, police say they found Witham allegedly in possession of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine when they stopped him and another person traveling together in a car in Verona Island. Police then searched Witham’s house the same day and found more drugs and $20,000 suspected to have come from the sale of drugs, police said at the time.

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....