September 26, 1988

J. Scott Davis, Bar Counsel
Board of Overseers of the Bar
P.O. Box 1820
Augusta, ME 04330-1820

RE: Bar Counsel File No. 88-S-126

Dear Mr. Davis:

I am writing in response to your letter of September 20, 1988, regarding the contents of correspondence you received from Richard Sargent raising questions about my representation of him on a Penobscot County robbery indictment.

To put the matter in some perspective, I first represented Richard Sargent in connection with an indictment handed up in Hancock County charging him with murder and arson. In that indictment, it was alleged that Richard Sargent and two other individuals caused the death of one Micheal Cochran *by burning the camp in which he was sleeping. Richard Sargent was arrested at his mother’s home in Winterport, (Waldo County) Maine, on a warrant arising from that indictment. At the time of his arrest, a search warrant for his mother’s home was also executed and revealed the presence of a psilocybin mushroom-growing operation in the basement of the residence. Consequently, Richard Sargent was subsequently indicted in Waldo County on drug charges related to the mushroom-growing operation.

Through a long and bitter struggle covering many months and many hearings, we were able to persuade the state to dismiss the murder indictment before it came to trial. The principal witness on whom the State was relying for evidence was revealed to be a pathological liar whose testimony was riddled with improbabilities and inconsistencies.

We also managed to persuade the Court to dismiss the Waldo County drug indictment after a similarly long and bitter struggle over issues which developed in a suppression hearing. The state's informant [Sharon Sargent] had engaged in a sexual relationship with the State Police affiant, and this relationship was lied about by the State Police Officer in his testimony at the hearing on the motion to suppress. When we subsequently discovered that the officer had lied in this regard, a motion for rehearing on the suppression issue was brought, resulting in an order granting the motion to suppress and dismissing the indictment because of the conduct of the officer at the suppression hearing and the subsequent conduct of other state police officers in attempting to thwart an FBI investigation of the allegations contained in our motion for rehearing.

The third and final indictment on which I represented Richard Sargent, the Penobscot County robbery indictment, is the subject of his letter of September 17, 1988. I can remember using every device I could think of to impeach the credibility of Paul Pollard during cross-examination at that trial. The whole thrust of our defense in that case was that Paul Pollard had, in fact, committed the murder which Richard Sargent had originally been indicted and that *Mr. Pollard struck a deal with the State Police Officer who was responsible for the investigation of both cases. We asserted that Detective Barry Shuman, the State Police Office who investigated both the murder and robbery charges, had become upset over the fact that the murder charge against Mr. Sargent had dismissed. We alleged that, in an act of over zealous investigation, Officer Shuman sought from Paul Pollard any information that Paul Pollard might have implicating Richard Sargent in any criminal wrong doing. We argued that Mr. Pollard made up a story about Sargent’s connection with a robbery which Paul Pollard had himself committed in order to satisfy Officer Shuman’s desire for inculpatory information against Sargent and in order to deflect attention from himself as a suspect in the death of Micheal Cochran. This was the thrust of my cross-examination of Mr. Pollard, and I used every device in my power to make him out a liar. The transcript of this trial will certainly substantiate the vigor of my cross-examination of Mr. Pollard.