Farmington man, Bangor woman plead not guilty in Jay shooting

Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
·3 min read

Mar. 17—FARMINGTON — Two people pleaded not guilty Tuesday in connection with a drive-by shooting at a Jay apartment house in April 2020.

Arthur M. Cohen, 36, formerly of Waterbury, Connecticut, and now of Farmington, and Alicia Beck, 36, of Bangor each pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of reckless conduct with a firearm via videoconference with a Farmington Court.

The two were indicted by a grand jury March 3.

Cohen, who was also indicted on other charges, pleaded not guilty to aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs-heroin and, or fentanyl, unlawful possession of scheduled drug-cocaine, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

An indictment indicates there is enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial.

Police responded to a complaint of shots fired about 2:40 p.m. April 23 at 35 Main St. Witnesses advised dispatchers they could hear gunshots and saw a white vehicle leaving Otis Street, which runs beside the apartment house, according to a Jay police affidavit.

Three shots hit the residence: one bullet hole was found underneath a doorway and two others were on a second story wall. A woman was in the second-floor apartment. Three shell casings from a 9 mm gun were found on the street, Jay Police Chief Richard Caton IV wrote in the document filed nearly a year ago in a Farmington court.

Caton wrote that it appears the shots would have come from the passenger side of a vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Police stopped the suspect car in front of Western Auto on Main Street in Livermore Falls, and Jay and Livermore Falls officers detained three people inside but determined the back seat passenger was picked up after the shooting. Police allegedly found a 9 mm handgun hidden between Beck's thighs as she sat in the driver's seat. The other gun was in the driver's door console, according to Caton.

The handgun in Beck's possession contained a Sig full-metal jacket round in the chamber. The casings found at the scene were confirmed to be Sigs, he wrote.

Cohen who has been at the Franklin County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail since the shooting, has a conviction on an attempted burglary charge in 2017 in Connecticut, according to court records.

According to the March indictment, Cohen allegedly had 6 grams or more, or 270 or more individual bags, folds, packages, envelopes or containers of heroin and/or fentanyl on April 23.

Defense attorney Walter "Woody" Hanstein and Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said Tuesday that they believed they would reach a resolution in the case.

There had also been mention of an amendment to bail in January and Tuesday but it has not been done.

"He has been held since last April because he couldn't post that bail," Hansten wrote in an email later in the day. "We have held off arguing that motion because it does seem like we may be close to resolving things."

Beck was released on $5,000 unsecured bail and a supervised release agreement following the incident last year.

Convictions on the charges range from up to five years or as many as 30 years in prison.