Courts and Crime

Karen Knowlton / Waterville Humane Society via AP

Dakota the dog is no longer facing a possible death sentence, after a Kennebec County District Court judge approved a deal that spares her life.

The husky was ordered to be euthanized this spring after she attacked two dogs in separate incidents, killing one. Gov. Paul LePage took the unusual step of pardoning Dakota, though it was unclear whether he had the authority to do so.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney says the agreement Monday satisfies all parties involved in the case.

Portland officials may take Big Pharma to court over super-addictive synthetic opioids.

Early next month city officials will hear a staff presentation on a potential lawsuit against opioid manufacturers or distributors. Mayor Ethan Strimling says the effort might be similar to suits some cities have brought against gun manufacturers for harm their products cause.

He says one goal would be to limit opioid marketing.

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

The hearing for a man who claims he was falsely convicted of murder 25 years ago has been delayed till October.

Anthony Sanborn was released on bail this spring after a key witness in his original trial recanted her testimony, casting doubt on Sanborn's conviction of the murder of Jessica Briggs in Portland in 1989. 

ROCKLAND, Maine - A Maine man who killed two people and wounded three others in a two-county shooting rampage is due to be sentenced next month on two counts of murder, two charges of attempted murder and other charges.
Anthony Lord, of Houlton, appeared in a Rockland courtroom Wednesday to plead guilty. Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea says there's no plea agreement in the case.
Authorities say Lord went on a shooting rampage in July 2015 in northern Maine.

MADISON, Maine - A Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his wife, his son and a neighbor.
In a newly released 911 transcript obtained by the Morning Sentinel, an unidentified woman tells a dispatcher that she and her boyfriend, Dustin Tuttle, were awoken by the screams of his mother early July 5 at his family's Madison home. She says Tuttle was gunned down by his father, Carroll Tuttle Jr., before she escaped.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine woman has been released from jail after being sentenced to time served for giving a gun to a man who later died in a shootout with police.
The Portland Press Herald reports that 50-year-old Stephanie Knightly of South Paris was released Monday after spending 63 days in jail.
She could have faced up to 10 years for giving the gun to Steven Piirainen, who was killed by police in 2014, but prosecutors said she was not responsible for the shootout.

A man from Harlem, New York has been sentenced to 24 years in prison on drug trafficking conspiracy and firearms charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry says Malcolm Cowart came to Maine in late 2011 or early 2012 and, with a group of other individuals, distributed significant quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in the Portland area. Perry says the drugs were brought from the New York by so-called managers who stayed with Portland residents who were paid drugs and money for allowing the conspirators to use their apartments to distribute drugs.

PORTLAND, Maine - A judge has denied a request to delay a hearing on the case of a Maine man who was released from prison in April after new evidence emerged in his 1992 murder conviction.
Judge Joyce Wheeler denied the prosecution's request Thursday, but had left open the possibility of delaying the hearing by one week. The Portland Press Herald reports that Wheeler suggested that the evidentiary hearing could begin Aug. 1 instead of July 24 if Anthony Sanborn's Jr.'s attorneys and prosecutors agree to a one-week delay.

State police investigators continue to try and determine the motive for a triple homicide Wednesday in Madison.

State police spokesman Stephen McCausland said 51-year-old gunman Carroll Tuttle killed his partner and their son at their home. The third victim was killed at a nearby residence.

McCausland said central to the investigation is Harvey Austin, who was wounded.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

MADISON, Maine — Maine State Police say they don’t know what drove a man to kill three people and wound another before being fatally shot in a confrontation with officers.

Spokesman Steve McCausland says detectives are trying to determine what sparked the violence Wednesday morning in the town of Madison.

The spokesman says 51-year-old gunman Carroll Tuttle killed his partner, 52-year-old Lori Hayden, and their son, 25-year-old Dustin Tuttle, at their home. The third victim was 57-year-old Michael Spaulding, who was killed at a nearby residence.

The Maine attorney general’s office says that a federal appeals court has upheld a ruling in favor of the state in a legal challenge brought by the Penobscot Nation over regulatory control of the Penobscot River.

SANFORD, Maine - The Maine State Fire Marshal's Office says three boys have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed an abandoned mill over the weekend in Sanford.
Fire marshals say one of the boys is 12 and the other two are 13. They are from Sanford and have been taken to the Long Creek juvenile detention facility in South Portland. Their first appearances in court will be scheduled once paperwork is filed. It's not immediately known if they have lawyers.

Doctors, lawyers, dentists, veterinarians, even judges will join the rest of Maine residents eligible for jury duty, under a bill making its way through the Legislature.

The measure started out as an attempt to add nurse practitioners to the list of professions automatically exempted from jury duty. But the legislature’s Judiciary Committee turned the idea on its head and instead proposed to eliminate most of the existing jury-duty exemptions that have been in place for a half-century.

A 50 year old Massachusetts man faces a long jail sentence and hefty fines after pleading guilty today to bank and credit card fraud and tax evasion. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Ruge says Stephen Nygren forged and embezzled 63 checks worth almost $750,000 when he was financial officer of a small business in Brooklin, Maine.

“The bank fraud took place over about 15 months from 2014 to 2015,” Ruge says.

Maine's highest court is sanctioning former York County Probate Judge Robert Nadeau for judicial misconduct.

Nadeau, who last year lost a bid for re-election, has been sanctioned twice before. In a decision on Tuesday the Supreme Judicial Court considered several more recent allegations, from blacklisting former associates from serving as court-appointed lawyers to inappropriately soliciting campaign donations.

Saying previous sanctions had not changed Nadeau's "intemperate" behavior, the court fined him $5,000 and suspended him from practicing law for 2 years.