Courts and Crime

Kevin Bennett / Maine Public

Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Eugene Cole is being honored today at a public memorial service in Bangor.  Cpl. Cole was the first Maine law enforcement officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in nearly three decades.

The Cumberland County Jail was shut down for a couple of hours Friday, and officers taken to the hospital after a packet of fentanyl went airborne.

Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon says officers were booking 29-year-old Brent Gross of Westbrook on suspicion of trafficking fentanyl, as well as prison contraband, when a scuffle ensued, causing a parcel of drugs, allegedly belonging to Gross, to open and release a powder. Gagnon says the powder tested positive for fentanyl.

Updated 1:54 p.m.

Police have identified the man who was shot by a state trooper Friday in the Aroostook County town of Oakfield. 54-year-old John Corneil of Smyrna was shot by Sgt. Chad Fuller, a 20-year veteran of the State Police.

The girlfriend of a Maine man charged with killing a sheriff's deputy is facing drug charges.

The Morning Sentinel reports that a grand jury indicted Kristina Pomerleau on charges of possession of cocaine base and unlawful furnishing of cocaine.

Court documents indicate her boyfriend, John Williams, smoked from a "crack pipe" after killing Cpl. Eugene Cole on April 25 in Norridgewock.

A police report indicates the 61-year-old Cole was involved in the arrest of Pomerleau on April 21, when she was cited for driving without a valid license.

Two photographs of the man accused of killing a Sheriff's Deputy last week in Norridewock have gotten numerous comments on social media and otherwise.

One picture shows John Williams laying on his stomach at the time of his capture with a hand lifting his head by his hair. State Police say Williams was in this position because he was uncooperative and authorities had to facilitate the picture.

In the second photo, taken when he was booked, Williams has a black eye which authorities say happened as Williams was being arrested.

Marina Villeneuve / Associated Press

John Williams of Madison was formally charged with murder in connection with the death of Somerset County deputy Eugene Cole at his first court appearance Monday in Kennebec County. A police affidavit revealed some new details in the case, but doesn’t shed light on why Cole was shot.

Justice Robert Mullen ordered a mental health examination of Williams and agreed to prosecutors’ request for a change of venue to Cumberland County. Williams stared straight ahead as he sat with his court-appointed lawyers and answered questions from the judge.

Callie Ferguson / Bangor Daily News

The youngest sister of slain Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole said she was relieved that suspected killer John D. Williams had been found alive Saturday afternoon, but is far from being able to forgive him.

Dustin Wlodkowski / WCSH-TV News Center Maine

Updated 9:40 a.m.  Sunday

After a nearly four-day manhunt, police have captured John Williams, the suspect in the fatal shooting death of 62-year-old Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy, Cpl. Eugene Cole.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

About 200 officers from various federal, state and local departments, working 12-hour shifts, spent the third day of the intensive manhunt for John Williams, going door-to-door around Norridgwock, searching from the air and focusing on some woods near the Martin Stream Road.

Nick Godfrey / Maine Public

Philip Scott Fournier will spend 45 years in prison for murdering 16-year-old Joyce McLain in East Millinocket in 1980.

Fournier, 57, was 19 at the time of the killing. McLain’s murder went unsolved for decades before the case was reopened in 2008.

Fournier was sentenced Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing but the amount of time that these folks have lived with this case is unconscionable,” says Assistant District Attorney Leanne Robbin.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

This story was updated at 11:42 a.m. ET.

The manhunt for the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Somerset County Deputy Sheriff, Cpl. Eugene Cole, continues into its third day.

Woman Who Found Body Of Slain Deputy Helped Raise His Suspected Killer

Apr 27, 2018
Callie Ferguson / Bangor Daily News

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — The woman who found the body of slain Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole in her yard early Wednesday morning said she practically raised the man accused of killing him.

Teen Sues Over Detention At Long Creek, Challenging Maine’s Imprisonment Of Youths

Apr 25, 2018
Jake Bleiberg / Maine Public

A Skowhegan teen is asking the state’s top court to overturn his commitment to Maine’s youth prison in a case that claims the state corrections system is incapable of rehabilitating young people.

Last October, the 16-year-old, who is called J.R. in court documents, was sentenced to incarceration at the Long Creek Youth Development Center up to the age of 18 for a series of non-violent crimes, including two charges that were dropped from felonies to misdemeanors.

Kirk Mohney / via National Register of Hisoric Places

CASCO, Maine - Lawyers for two men facing arson charges in a fire that destroyed a historic Maine schoolhouse say the men are intellectually disabled.

The Portland Press Herald reports an attorney for 22-year-old Devin Richardson-Gurney told a judge Monday that the man has autism. An attorney for 20-year-old Edward Scott says the man receives services from an organization that helps the intellectually disabled.

Prosecutors say the two men set the Friends School House in Casco on fire Sunday.

Kirk Mohney / via National Register of Hisoric Places

Fire investigators say they believe vandalism led to a blaze early Sunday morning in Casco that destroyed a one-room school house built in 1849 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"During the investigation of the building and the collection of information we determined that the fire was intentionally set inside the building using materials that were already inside," says Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the state Fire Marshal's Office.

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