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Criminal case related to Pelletier Avenue continues to wind way through courts

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — While residents await the outcome of both a Nov. 14 town vote and the final resolution of a civil case against the town regarding the ownership of a portion of Pelletier Avenue, a Madawaska man caught up in the controversy also awaits a determination in his related criminal case.

In April, Bruce Ouellette of Madawaska pleaded not guilty to multiple charges related to an October 2016 incident in which he was using farming equipment to dig up a portion of Pelletier Avenue, a portion of which he claims his family and not the town owns. At the time, he also allegedly got into an altercation with a passerby, after which police were called.

The roughly one-mile long section of the dirt road has been at the center of controversy for more than a year regarding its designation as a private or public road.

In February, an Aroostook County grand jury indicted Ouellette on charges of aggravated criminal mischief, reckless conduct and obstructing government administration pertaining to the October incident.

Since then, parties in the criminal case have met for several conferences, but the case has yet to go to trial.

Ouellette’s attorney, Toby Jandreau of Fort Kent, spoke briefly on Wednesday, about the case.

Jandreau, who declined to go into details, confirmed that he and his client continue to work through the legal process. The case was most recently on the Nov. 1 docket call in Caribou Superior Court.

A docket call is a procedure in which parties update the court on the status of the case and schedule future hearings or conferences, as needed.

The case is next scheduled for another docket call on Dec. 4, again in Caribou.

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