Courts and Crime

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland police are investigating the apparent homicide of a 35-year-old man who was found dead in a car in the city's West End Monday afternoon. 

Assistant Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch says officers responded to a 9-1-1 call.  He says the victim's identity is not being released pending notification of next of kin.

"We are working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Maine Attorney General's Office in that investigation," Malloch says.

BELFAST, Maine - Dozens of people in Belfast say they had money stolen from their bank accounts after using the ATM at the Down East Credit Union branch on Saturday.

Police in Belfast say someone apparently installed a so-called skimming device in that ATM, and that they haven't found any others in the area.

The credit union says the breach didn't happen internally and it believes fewer than 100 members were affected. Most of the withdrawals were made in New York.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine attorney general's office and federal authorities have filed a complaint against three corporations and six individuals accused of falsely advertising, marketing, distributing and selling pills for joint pain and memory problems.
The Portland Press Herald reports the consumer fraud lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in federal court. Two corporations and four individuals have agreed to settle for a combined $500,000.

Maine Department of Corrections

For more than 30 years, the population in the Down East town of Machiasport has remained virtually unchanged, at about 1,100 residents. But that number could drop by more than 10 percent if state lawmakers agree to Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to close the Downeast Correctional Facility.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Cumberland County Superior Court judge has granted a motion for a $2 million attachment on the home of a Hiram man.  

Philip J. Macri  faces criminal charges stemming from an accident that claimed the life of a Steep Falls woman and seriously injured her daughter. 

Steven Silin, of the Lewiston firm Berman & Simmons, represents the injured girl and says Philip J. Macri fraudulently transferred his home to his father to prevent it from becoming a recoverable asset in a lawsuit.

PORTLAND, Maine - Federal prosecutors say a Norwegian man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for making threats against Maine police while in Portland as a tourist.

Twenty-nine-year-old Espen Brungodt of Bergen was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty to making threatening interstate communications in September.

Authorities charged that Brungodt made the threats against police in August via email, saying he would shoot police officers from a parking garage. He did not act on the threats, and was arrested at a Portland hotel hours after making them.

Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley is asking the Legislature for more funding, in order to maintain support staff and security.

In her address to a joint convention of the House and Senate, the chief justice thanked lawmakers for their support of funding for courthouse improvements and legislation to provide for digital technology in the courts, but she said many challenges remain.

Saufley announced a statewide conference this summer to discuss how to address the ongoing domestic violence problems in the state.

Maine’s top judges are weighing the fate of one of their own. The Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments on Friday on whether former York County Probate Judge Robert Nadeau should be barred from the bench for judicial misconduct.

YORK, Maine - A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy has been indicted in Maine on 29 counts of sexual misconduct dating to the 1980s.
York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery tells The Boston Globe that some counts against 74-year-old Ronald Paquin involve a child under 14.
Paquin, freed in 2015, was a central figure in the Boston archdiocese's sex abuse scandal. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to raping an altar boy.

PORTLAND, Maine - A man charged with assault in an incident in Portland that police say is a hate crime has pleaded not guilty.
Twenty-year-old Jamie Hoffman appeared in court on Monday to respond to two counts of assault and a charge of interfering with constitutional rights. He is charged with making racial slurs and assaulting students outside Casco Bay High School last month.
Hoffman's lawyer says part of the case involves Hoffman's right to free speech.

contributed photo

The Maine medical examiner has determined that the death of a 17-year-old transgender resident at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in November was the result of suicide.

The attorney general says there's no basis for her office to investigate further, but the Department of Corrections is asking an outside expert to review Long Creek's suicide prevention policy.

Elizabeth Noble

A Superior Court judge has sided with a Maine State Prison inmate who claimed his due process rights were violated when he was put in solitary confinement for nearly two years.

Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

An agreement reached between the Cumberland County district attorney’s office and a group of Black Lives Matter protesters fell apart Wednesday in a dispute over a required restorative justice session. Now it appears prosecutors will reinstate misdemeanor charges, which had been put on hold.

Some residents of Augusta and Freeport got up Monday morning to discover that the Ku Klux Klan had randomly left fliers in their neighborhoods.

One of the neighborhoods is where Augusta Police Chief Robert Gregoire lives.

“An officer got a call that there as a bag containing a message from the KKK in a driveway up here on Washington Street in Augusta, and then a short time later one of my neighbors showed up with one at my house,” he says.

SANFORD, Maine - The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says it made the largest seizure of heroin in the history of the state during an arrest of two people on trafficking charges.
The agency says authorities arrested 39-year-old Jason Bolduc of Parsonsfield and 35-year-old Nichole Farrar of Sanford. It says they seized more than 8 pounds of heroin, half in Sanford and half in Massachusetts.
Police say the street value of the drugs was more than $1.8 million. They say numerous other suspects have been identified and they're continuing to investigate.