Courts and Crime

A man accused of running a major welfare scam out of a Portland halal grocery is pleading guilty to several charges of federal food stamp and other welfare fraud.

Ali Ratib Daham is also pleading to money laundering and theft from the state’s MaineCare program. Prosecutors are agreeing to drop dozens of other charges in the case. The plea deal, filed earlier this month, will be considered in federal district court Tuesday afternoon, with sentencing to come later.

Attorneys were back in federal court Tuesday arguing about a lawsuit brought by the Portland Pipe Line Corp. against the City of South Portland over its Clear Skies Ordinance.

In August, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock rejected the city’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. But the city says last month’s cancellation of a massive pipeline project in Canada has undermined the company’s case.

Police in Falmouth are warning about the possibility that discarded turkeys are being redistributed, something officials are calling a “very bad idea.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - A mistrial has been declared in the case of a onetime "Deputy of the Year'' charged with sexually abusing three girls in Maine.
Jurors in Kennebec County acquitted Kenneth Hatch of Whitefield of two felony counts but deadlocked Monday on the remaining 20 felony counts, resulting in the mistrial on those charges.
Prosecutors say Hatch abused the girls from 1999 to 2014. Court documents say the abuse of one girl started when she was 6 years old. The others were 14 or 15.

Mainers who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using a Western Union wire transfer between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, may now seek compensation.

Maine and 49 other states have settled with Western Union, which has come up with $586 million for a victims’ compensation fund that will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ryan Remiorz / Associated Press/pool

The Canadian federal government has reached a settlement with Irving Oil, four years after the deadly Lac-Megantic derailment in which 47 people died. The Saint John, New Brunswick-based company pleaded guilty last month to 34 charges relating to the misclassification of rail shipments of crude oil and improper training of employees.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A onetime "Deputy of the Year'' at a Maine sheriff's department is on trial on charges that he sexually abused three girls.
Opening statements in the trial of Lincoln County sheriff's deputy Kenneth Hatch III were scheduled for Monday.
Prosecutors say Hatch abused the girls on numerous occasions from 1999 to 2014. Court documents say the abuse of one girl started when she was 6 years old. The others were 14 or 15.
He is also accused of providing at least one of the girls with marijuana in exchange for sex.

PORTLAND, Maine - A man freed after serving 27 years for the 1989 murder of a teenager says he struck a deal and walked away from a post-conviction review hearing because he couldn't bear the thought of going back to prison if he lost.
Forty-five-year-old Anthony Sanborn tells the Portland Press Herald he wanted his ordeal in the court system to end.

PORTLAND, Maine - Court officials say the final day has arrived for a Portland landlord convicted of code violations in a fatal fire to continue his appeal.
Gregory Nisbet sought a new trial when he was convicted of code violations stemming from a November 2014 fire that killed six people. His lawyers later asked to be removed from the appeal.
Nisbet has until Friday to either file a brief or hire a new lawyer to file one on his behalf. Court officials say he has done neither of those things so far.

Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald/pool

Sentenced to 70 years in prison for the 1989 killing of a 16-year-old girl in Portland, Anthony Sanborn is a free man. In the wake of a key witness’s recantation, prosecutors agreed Wednesday that the sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and reduced it to time served.

BRYAN, Texas - A man has been convicted of capital murder in the brutal slayings of six people at a remote Texas campsite in 2015.
The Eagle reports that a Brazos County jury found 35-year-old William Hudson guilty Tuesday on three counts of capital murder for his role in killing 77-year-old Carl Johnson and 40-year-old Hannah Johnson, both former Maine residents, and four other members of their extended family.

A key witness whose testimony helped secure bail for Anthony Sanborn as he fights a decades-old murder conviction was back on the stand Tuesday in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Last spring, Hope Cady recanted her testimony from the original trial, that she had witnessed Sanborn murder Jessica Briggs on a Portland pier. Cady still maintains that she didn’t see Sanborn commit the crime.

BELFAST, Maine - A Maine woman charged with killing her 7-week-old baby told the jury she had multiple shots of liquor and smoked marijuana the night of her son's death.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A judge says a Maine teenager charged with killing his parents will face murder charges as an adult.
Andrew Balcer is accused of stabbing Alice and Antonio Balcer to death a year ago. He was 17 at the time and turns 19 next month.
Judge Eric Walker issued an order on Thursday saying Andrew Balcer should face the charges in the adult system. He also certified the case to go forward to a grand jury.

BLACKVILLE, New Brunswick — The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is advising people who stole live lobsters from a crash site in New Brunswick that the critters might be contaminated and shouldn't be eaten.