Courts and Crime

WATERVILLE, Maine - The aunt and grandmother of a toddler who disappeared five year ago, sparking the biggest investigation in Maine's history, say they believe she is still alive.
A judge declared Ayla Reynolds legally dead on Wednesday. The 20-month-old was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, when she was reported missing Dec. 17, 2011.

RUMFORD, Maine - A Maine woman is appealing the court-ordered euthanasia of her two dogs to the state Supreme Court.
The Kennebec Journal reports that Danielle Jones, of Winslow, is asking the Maine Supreme Court to overturn the euthanasia order.  Jones' two dogs were involved in a 2016 attack that killed a 10-month-old Boston terrier.
A judge had previously found Jones guilty of two counts of keeping a dangerous dog. The judge declined Jones' request to spare the dogs.

BANGOR, Maine - The murder trial of an Abbot man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend last summer and leading police on the longest manhunt in Maine history is getting underway.
Robert Burton is charged with killing Stephanie Gebo at her home in Parkman in June 2015.
A jury was selected late last week and opening statements are set for Monday.
Police say Gebo feared Burton and slept with a gun under her pillow after they broke up. The 40-year-old Burton pleaded not guilty to killing Gebo, who was bound with duct tape and shot.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine state police say they have uncovered no evidence that a missing toddler is alive after receiving more than a thousand leads about her 2011 disappearance.
The toddler's mother, at a Thursday court hearing in Portland, asked that Ayla Reynolds be declared dead.

AYER, Mass. - A judge has ruled that some court records in the case of a Maine man charged with killing his mother, grandparents and their caretaker in a Massachusetts home will be made public.
Judge Margaret Guzman impounded the records after Orion Krause, of Rockport, Maine, was arraigned on Sept. 11 in the slayings in Groton three days earlier.

BANGOR, Maine - A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border is due to be sentenced for money laundering.
Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle.
Narwhals are medium-sized whales known for spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They are protected by the U.S. and Canada.

Courtesy Portland Police Department

Portland Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest in the Sept. 10 homicide of a homeless man.

Sunao Thomas Yamada, Jr., 54, was found dead on Temple Street near the city's Old Port early that morning, and police say they believe he was killed around 3:20 a.m.

Earlier, Yamada had been seen with a white male described as being between the ages of 25 and 35, about six feet tall, thin and with short dark hair, police say.

Police Failed To Protect Women From Man's Rampage, Suit Claims

Sep 18, 2017
Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

Two victims of Anthony Lord’s July 2015 murderous rampage have claimed in a federal lawsuit that Maine State Police officers failed to protect them from Lord, who was sentenced last month to life in prison.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The University of Maine at Augusta will host a day to pay tribute to the memory of people who have been murdered.
The Maine Day of Remembrance will be held Monday, Sept. 25 at the Augusta campus and will feature multiple speakers and music. The Kennebec Journal reports that the families of homicide victims who attend are encouraged to bring a small framed photo of them for display at a memorial.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed a civil suit under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Jesse James Taylor in Portland Superior Court.

The case stems from an incident on July 29 when employees at Sisters Gourmet Deli in Portland called police after Taylor entered the premises and hurled abusive language and threats at the female employees there.

The incident was caught on tape.

“It’s more than name calling. It was threats — threats to kill people. There was a knife involved,” Mills says.

ROCKPORT, Maine - The father of a Maine man accused of killing three family members and a caregiver says he doesn't understand how his son could have committed such violence.
Orion Krause is charged with killing his mother, grandparents and their caretaker at his grandparents' Massachusetts home last week.
Alexander Krause tells The Boston Globe that his 22-year-old son was a "stellar student,'' who recently graduated from Oberlin College. Krause says the killings underscore the need to "pay more attention to mental health,'' but declined to elaborate.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine man accused of shooting a firearm into a neighbor's farm stand has pleaded not guilty, saying he was trying to scare off a rabid raccoon.

State police say 31-year-old Matthew Brigham was arrested Tuesday after neighbors reported seeing a man with a gun. The Kennebec Journal reports that he was arraigned Wednesday in Augusta on charges including reckless conduct.

On instruction from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office has sent a team to Claremont, NH, to assist in the investigation of an Aug. 28 incident in which an 8-year-old biracial boy was allegedly nearly hanged by a group of white teenagers.  

The teens are alleged to have thrown rocks at the boy and taunted him with racial slurs. He was treated for rope burns and cuts to his neck.

CARIBOU, Maine - An 81-year-old Florida man convicted of strangling his former neighbor to death in northern Maine is going to prison, likely for the rest of his life.
WAGM-TV reports that a judge on Tuesday sentenced Robert Craig of Clearwater, Florida, to 33 years in prison for murder.
Craig was convicted in July in the death of 86-year-old Leo Corriveau in his Presque Isle mobile home.

PORTLAND, Maine  — Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck says that while the death of a homeless man early Sunday morning is still under investigation, there is no reason to believe that the public is at further risk in the case.

At a news conference Monday, Sauschuck said the body of  54-year-old  Sunao Thomas Yamada Jr.  was found near the city's Old Port, and the death has been ruled a homicide.