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Conway man charged with attempted murder after shooting

Victim flown to Maine Medical; cause of incident under investigation

8-30-attmpted-murder Eugene-Menard-1Eugene Menard, 31, of Conway, talks with public defender Christopher Keating, during his arraignment hearing for attempted murder in Conway courthouse Thursday. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)     CONWAY — A Conway man is facing an attempted murder charge following a shooting on Eastside Road early Thursday.

Eugene William Menard, 31, is being held without bail after he was arrested and charged with attempted murder and felon in possession of a firearm.
8-30-attmpted-murder Eugene-Menard-4Conway Police arrive at the White Deer Motel in Conway to search for evidence after an early morning shooting Thursday. Eugene Menard, 31, of Conway was arraigned for attempted murder in Conway courthouse later in the day. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)The incident began when police got a call around 12:45 a.m. Thursday morning, according to Conway Police Chief Ed Wagner. Officers responded to Memorial Hospital in North Conway for a man shot in the groin. "We think it was a small caliber gun," Wagner said around noon on Thursday. "Even the people there said it was more like a firecracker."
Later that afternoon he confirmed the police had recovered a firearm. The weapon possession complaint said Menard had a Colt Cobra 38 Special revolver.
The man Menard allegedly shot, William A. Burke, 23, of Berlin, was airlifted to Maine Medical Center in Portland following treatment at Memorial, Wagner said. He underwent surgery in Maine.
Police are still working on putting together exactly what happened, but there is no indication the incident was domestic-related or connected to drugs.
Burke was not fatally injured, according to Wagner, and officers got a chance to speak with Burke before he went to Maine Medical. They also responded to the scene of the shooting, the shoulder of Eastside Road near where it meets Route 16 out behind the Conway Shurfine.
8-30-attmpted-murder Eugene-Menard-5Sgt. George Walker of the Conway Police Department searches the grounds of the White Deer Motel in Conway looking for evidence after an early morning shooting Thursday. Eugene Menard, 31, of Conway was arraigned for attempted murder in Conway courthouse later in the day. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)The department was still executing search warrants on Thursday afternoon. They had officers searching the woods near the White Deer Motel, where Menard lives, around 1 p.m.
"There was evidence recovered from the woods," Wagner said.
Conway prosecutor Janet Subers read off a long list of Menard's convictions at a bail hearing at the Conway courthouse Thursday afternoon, some of which date back to 1998. They included theft and drug possession convictions, plus four witness tampering convictions, "each of which was a felony," she said.
Menard is currently out on bail for a felon in possession of a firearm complaint, she said, as well as two violations of a protective order. He also has a history of violating bail, she said, including a bail jumping conviction. He had bail conditions that included a curfew, she said, but "he can't seem to abide them." The county attorney would like to move forward with revoking his bail, she said.
Public defender Chris Keating happened to be at the courthouse, so he stood in to represent Menard. He entered a plea of not guilty for all charges. He requested the opportunity to revisit bail at the probable cause hearing, which was scheduled for September 6 at 2:30 p.m.
The state asked the court to seal documents concerning Menard's arrest, including search warrants, because the investigation is ongoing. They were therefore unavailible for inspection.
Burke, meanwhile, has had his own brushes with the law, according to the Sun's files. He was arrested in Berlin and Gorham a handful of times between 2006 and 2009, although it is unclear if he was ever convicted of any crime. Some of the charges were felony level.
Wagner said Conway police had a second person in custody in addition to Menard, but that person was not under arrest and therefore has not been identified. As the investigation unfolds, Wagner said, other people besides Menard may face charges. "There were clearly more people there," he said.
Wagner thanked state police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which both aided in the investigation.
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