Courts and Crime

FARMINGTON, Maine - A judge has ruled a Maine a man who was banned from driving for life after a triple-fatal drunken driving crash can reapply for a license.
The Kennebec Journal reports that 39-year-old Bryan Carrier, of Fairfield, was denied for the third time when he tried to get his license back. Judge William Stokes ruled that a Bureau of Motor Vehicles hearing officer didn't have the authority to decide Carrier couldn't file another petition for a driver's license reinstatement.

Maine law enforcement officials are gearing up for their annual push for Maine’s seat belt laws.

Beginning Monday, 45 police agencies in the state are taking part in the 2-week Click It or Ticket campaign as the summer driving season gets underway.

Special enforcement efforts are planned for the first day of the campaign from 4 to 8 p.m. Thomas Reagan with the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety says motorists should expect to see lots of police officers taking part in “Border to Border” details Monday along the Maine-New Hampshire border.

A new development in what is expected to be a three-week-long trial involving a Somali couple charged with welfare fraud — a judge on Monday dismissed 14 of 15 counts against one of the defendants. The state’s case against Abdi Hassan that was supposed to begin Tuesday has now been postponed pending a further ruling from the court.

A Thorndike woman has been indicted on manslaughter charges in connection with the death of 72-year-old Joyce Woods of Burnham.

On April 2, Woods called 911 to report that an intruder was in her house. Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland says Woods later died in a car in her driveway.

“A family member had come to the house before deputies and troopers arrived on the scene. She sought refuge in that vehicle, and that’s when she was stricken and died,” he says.

McCausland says the cause of death has not yet been released by the medical examiner’s office.

The judge presiding over the Anthony Sanborn murder case has declined a motion to recuse herself.

The Maine Attorney General’s office made the request due to concerns over Justice Joyce Wheeler’s impartiality. The developing case calls into question a Sanborn’s conviction, handed down nearly 30 years ago.

The request is based on two statements she made during a bail hearing for Sanborn in April.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine man has been ordered to serve five years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 25-year-old bicyclist in Windham.
Devin Brown of Scarborough reached a plea deal Monday in the crash that killed 26-year-old Brandon Dumond as he was riding his bicycle with his younger sister last November.
Police say the 33-year-old Brown was arrested after driving into a ditch a short time later. Brown, whose blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and aggravated drunken driving.

Two natives of Iraq pleaded not guilty today to federal charges related to an alleged scheme run from a Portland halal market to defraud the government of welfare benefits.

Ali Ratib Daham, now a U.S. citizen, faces multiple charges, ranging from fraud to trafficking in government benefits and money-laundering. The most serious of the charges carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

His younger brother, Abdul Kareem Daham, a permanent U.S. resident who says he’s now enrolled at Southern Maine Community College, faces one count of fraud with a 5-year maximum penalty.

Some attorneys in Maine appointed to defend people who can’t afford a lawyer will have to wait nearly two months to get paid as state funding runs out.

PORTLAND, Maine - A former Maine police chief is defending the handling of a murder case.
WCSH-TV reports that former Portland Police Chief Mike Chitwood says he still believes Anthony Sanborn killed his childhood girlfriend, Jessica Briggs, in 1989. Sanborn served 27 years in prison, but was released on bail in April after a witness recanted her statement.

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - A lawyer trying to overturn a decades-old murder conviction says case files recently returned to police by a retired detective contained critical evidence that was never shown to the defense.

Tens of thousands of people in Maine have been convicted of OUI multiple times without having their licenses permanently revoked.

Data from the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, going back to 1980, indicate almost 50,000 drivers in Maine have 2 OUI convictions, almost 4,000 have 5 and one person has 18. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says Maine doesn’t have permanent license revocations, although it’s something that he would support in the case of some chronic offenders.

WEST BATH, Maine - A Maine man accused of crashing into a police car while intoxicated last year has been convicted of drunken driving for the ninth time.
Mark Burson, of Limestone, was sentenced Wednesday. He will serve seven years in prison followed by three years of probation.
Burson's attorney had asked for a four-year sentence, saying Burson struggled with alcoholism, while prosecutors had pushed for 10 years.

Federal prosecutors say two Westbrook men face multiple charges for conspiring to turn food stamp and other welfare benefits into cash, in a scheme based at a Portland halal market.

Agents from three federal agencies — the FBI, IRS and the Department of Agriculture, which administers food stamps — were tipped to the alleged criminal enterprise by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services last year, according to an affidavit for a warrant to raid the Ahram Halal Market on Portland’s Forest Avenue.

PORTLAND, Maine - A former Maine health official accused of binding her 5-year-old foster child in a high chair with duct tape and convicted of manslaughter in the child's death has been released from prison.
WCSH-TV reports ex-Department of Health and Human Services supervisor Sally Schofield left prison Tuesday.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed a complaint under Maine’s Civil Rights Act in an incident police have called a hate crime.

Mills says Jaime Hoffman was charged with assault in the incident, in which he allegedly yelled racially charged epithets at a group of five students waiting for a school bus outside Casco Bay High School in Portland. She is asking the court for an order.

“Enjoining this fellow from ever using physical force or violence to attack these victims or violate anybody else’s civil rights,” she says.