Trial for Man Who Released 100+ Bedbugs in Augusta City Center
A man who allegedly released about 100 bedbugs in an Augusta city building four years ago will finally get his day in court this month.
Bedbugs are the stuff of nightmares. We've all read about bedbug infestations and how maddening they can be. These tiny brown bugs don't just live in your house, they feast on your blood while you sleep at night. The result can be everything from infections to rashes, to allergic reactions. And the psychological effects can be profound.
In 2017, 78-year-old Charles Manning said he was dealing with an infestation in his apartment. He says that he had complained to the city of Augusta about it, demanding that they do something. Manning was talking about a bedbug issue at 43 Court Street in Augusta. The Kennebec Journal reports that code enforcement officials talked to the landlord at the time, and he said the infestation was being handled, and that Manning had moved out.
When the city did not respond to his complaints of substandard housing, Manning walked into the Augusta City Center and slammed a cup full of about 100 bedbugs on a counter, releasing the insects into the building. Sometime later, he allegedly expressed some regret because he went to the general assistance office when he actually wanted to release them into the code enforcement office.
The pandemic is part of the reason the trial has taken four years. But Manning has also, reportedly, gone through several lawyers. He's refused offers of plea deals and will go on trial for assault and obstructing government administration. The second charge stems from the fact that the City Center had to be shut down for a day, while the bedbugs were removed. If convicted he could be facing up to a year in prison.