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PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

By Lisa Redmond

MediaNews

AYER — An Ayer man has been sent for a psychiatric evaluation after he appeared in Ayer District Court recently on charges he flooded his neighbor’s downstairs apartment, then held in custody after he allegedly threatened to shoot the judge.

After Maguire, of 15 Columbia St., pleaded innocent on Feb. 18 to malicious destruction of property for the alleged apartment flooding, Ayer District Court Judge Mark Sullivan ordered Maguire to undergo a 30-day examination so he could be evaluated for criminal responsibility.

Maguire is scheduled to return to court March 9 for a pretrial conference.

Defense attorney Christopher Reardon, who represents Maguire in the malicious-destruction-of-property case, confirmed his client has mental-health issues, but was unable to be specific about those issues.

Maguire was arrested Feb. 17 on a charge of malicious destruction of property, then released by Ayer police after posting $40 cash bail.

When he arrived at the courthouse the following morning, Maguire allegedly made a comment to a security officer as he went through the metal detector that he had left his gun outside. Maguire allegedly told the security officer that if he had a gun, he would shoot the judge.

Court personnel searched outside the courthouse and no weapon was found.

Massachusetts Trial Court spokeswoman Joan Kenney said: “The Security Department monitors various types of incidents in courthouses. Threats against judges is one of them, but in the course of a year, it is a very small percentage of the total.”

In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 409 security incidents were reported to the Security Department of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court, involving 24 threats against judges, 34 threats against employees and 351 assaults or disturbances in courthouses, according to the “Safety and Security First” report by the Massachusetts Judges Conference.

In Maguire’s case, State Police were called to investigate the case, but no charges were brought against Maguire for allegedly threatening the judge.

Maguire still has the pending charges in the damaged-property case.

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