PLYMOUTH - A Terryville man was sentenced to a year of probation on Friday after allegedly driving toward three people and nearly hitting them while they were standing on their front lawn, in the midst of a dispute last summer.
Richard Baldwin, 37, of 65 South Eagle St., pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to one count of second-degree reckless endangerment, during a hearing in Bristol Superior Court. An Alford plea means he wanted to accept a plea bargain offered by prosecutors, to avoid the possibility of being found guilty after a trial, while still disputing the allegations.
In exchange for the plea, charges of criminal mischief and breach of peace were dropped. Baldwin was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended, and one year’s probation.
Baldwin on July 3, around 7 p.m., was driving west on Main Street when he saw two people who he knew. While trying to turn around to speak with them, he drove onto a nearby home’s walkway, which he mistook for a driveway, he told police. A resident in the home, located at 344 Main St., then opened his window and the two exchanged words.
The resident alleges that Baldwin then drove onto the grass and back onto the road, the warrant said.
Three residents of the home left the house and walked onto the lawn.
They allege that Baldwin, who they didn’t know, then drove away for about a minute and, shortly after returning, drove onto the grass and toward the three individuals, according to the warrant. They told police he came within about four inches of striking them. No injuries were reported.
According to the warrant, Baldwin told police that, after he mistook the home’s walkway for a driveway, one of the residents ran out of the home and chased after his vehicle. The man, Baldwin alleges, tried to punch him and missed, striking the vehicle. Baldwin also told police the same man, later identified as Mikal McConahay, later threw a rock at his windshield.
According to Baldwin, he drove on the home’s lawn in an attempt to get away and not strike McConahay, who he said was standing in the street, according to the warrant.
McConahay, 19, was later charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace. His case is still pending.