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Paris felon gets suspended sentence for possessing firearm

PARIS — A Paris man pleaded guilty Friday morning in Oxford County Superior Court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and fraudulently obtaining a hunting license, two days after pleading guilty in federal court to the same charges.

Stephen Bean, 55, was sentenced to two years in jail, with all time suspended, two years of probation, and ordered to pay a $250 fine for each charge.

After Bean pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday, a judge ordered him to serve three years of probation and pay a $2,000 fine.

Andrew Bean, Stephen’s brother, and David Foster, both of Paris, were also arrested in connection with the case. Investigators said the men were found with guns near Christian Ridge Road in Paris. Each had been forbidden to possess firearms because of previous convictions.

According to Maine’s criminal records database, Stephen Bean was convicted on a felony charge of operating after habitual offender revocation in 2006, after which he was barred from possessing a firearm.

When they were charged, the Bean brothers and Foster were among five being investigated for trespassing by the Maine Warden Service, which received complaints from landowners who had posted their land against hunting in 2015, including neighbor Troy Ripley.

In 2006, Ripley’s 17-year-old daughter, Megan, was shot to death by another Bean brother, Timothy, in a hunting incident.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor told Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford on Friday morning that the state was seeking different probation conditions than the federal court, because of the history between the Beans and the Ripleys.

O’Connor said that while Ripley had called for leniency in Timothy’s sentencing, and showed a “remarkable amount of compassion,” he also reported that the Bean family had been “harassing him and his family since shortly after” Ripley’s daughter was shot.

“One condition that was not included in the federal court’s sentencing was a ‘no contact’ provision,’” O’Connor said. “We will be asking, as a special condition, that Mr. Bean have no contact with Troy Ripley, his family, or his property.”


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