BELFAST – A local woman has been convicted of terrorizing city council members, even though she claimed First Amendment protections.
Two Belfast City Council members said Wednesday they are pleased with the conviction of Laurie Allen, 58, a woman they say has terrorized them for years.
Councilor Mary Mortier, however, was surprised Allen wasn’t behind bars.
“I’ve had 24 hours where I thought I could breathe and I was enjoying being able to breathe again,” Mortier said Wednesday.
Allen was convicted Tuesday of terrorizing with a dangerous weapon at the Waldo Judicial Center. She represented herself during the jury-waived trial, and was sentenced by Justice Robert Murray to 18 months in jail with all but 14 days suspended. The judge also gave her two years of probation. She must turn herself into the jail on Sept. 13.
“Over a period of years, this has escalated,” Mortier said.
One extremely upsetting encounter for Mortier happened last year.
“In January of 2018, she confronted my in the Hannaford grocery store and screamed and yelled and accused me of murdering her children and being corrupt and all kinds of things at the top of her lungs and followed me through Hannaford,” the city councilor recalled.
“Two days later, she released a video where she was doing rifle target practice to a target in a wooded area and named the council, the city manager, city planner as her targets and thanked us for being her targets,” Mortier added.
The YouTube video used to convict Allen is still posted.
“Mortier, Mike Hurley, Sanders, Harkness, Arrison, Slocum, Marshall, blab, blab, blab … Thanks for being my target,” Allen can be heard saying.
Allen argued the video was a joke.
She started attending the city council meetings eight years ago. In 2012, police presence was added to the council meetings and after that a panic button was installed.
“We were all pretty good about taking a lot commentary from her, but she kept ramping it up as we went along,” Councilor Hurley said, standing in his downtown office. “But when somebody starts using a scoped rifle and they start naming you as their target, after they’ve been accusing you of murder, it gets your attention, and, obviously, it convinced the judge as well.”
Murray ordered Allen undergo a mental evaluation and get treatment.
“We just want her to, hopefully, get some help,” Hurley said.