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Hartland man pleads guilty to 10 counts of aggravated attempted murder in Waterville police shooting

Richard J. Murray-Burns was charged in connection with the December 2019 shooting of a Waterville police officer and a subsequent shootout in Canaan

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A Hartland man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to 10 counts of aggravated attempted murder and related charges in connection with the December 2019 shooting of a Waterville police officer as he sat in his cruiser, and a subsequent shootout in Canaan.

Richard J. Murray-Burns, 31, was indicted by a grand jury on 19 separate counts including 13 counts of Class A felony aggravated attempted murder and two counts of Class B felony aggravated assault.

In addition to 10 counts of aggravated attempted murder, Murray-Burns pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of robbery, one count of eluding police, and one count of theft, Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

State police said at the time that Waterville Police Officer Timothy Hinton stopped a car on Route 201 in Waterville following a shoplifting complaint from Wal-Mart early in the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019.

Murray-Burns allegedly fired upon Hinton with an "assault-style weapon" while Hinton was in his cruiser, and then fled. Hinton, who was wounded, began to pursue the car and was joined by officers from several law enforcement agencies.

Credit: NCM

The chase along routes 201 and 23 in Kennebec and Somerset counties ended on Route 2 in Canaan, where Murray-Burns allegedly shot at the other officers, striking vehicles. The officers returned fire and wounded Murray-Burns.

Hinton was shot in both arms. He was treated at MaineGeneral Hospital in Waterville and released later that day, police said.

Murray-Burns was also charged with the attempted murder of law enforcement officers Stephen Armiger, Garret Booth, Cameron J. Huggins, Kenneth MacMaster, Rick L. Moody, Daniel M. Murray, Eric S. Sucy, Jason Voter, and Racean Wood, according to the indictment.

Murray-Burns was also indicted on other felony and misdemeanor counts including robbery and reckless conduct with a firearm.

Sentencing will be set for sometime in November. He faces up to life in prison.