Courts and Crime

BUXTON, Maine - Maine police say a 19-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting earlier this month in Buxton.
Police say Brandon Lasante was arrested around Monday evening after being questioned by police. He was charged with aggravated attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault, both felonies.
Police say he's cooperating with authorities.
Police says Lasante shot 28-year-old Lincoln Kimball early on Aug. 6. Kimball, who was struck by several shotgun pellets, was treated at Maine Medical Center.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says she’s taking part in a multistate investigation into the role of the nation’s drug companies may have played in creating the opioid crisis.

Mills says more Mainers have died from prescription opioids since 2010 than from illicitly obtained opioids. She says there is no doubt that these highly addictive pain medications have been overprescribed in Maine — and she says several states are cooperating in the probe.

State Noise Ordinance Can Be Used Against Abortion Protesters, Court Rules

Aug 9, 2017
Maine Public/file /

Portland police may enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside Planned Parenthood’s Portland clinic, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said.

A three-judge panel reversed U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen’s May 2016 decision that found the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act unconstitutional because it was based on the content of what a protester said.

But the appellate court found that the noise section of the law, as written, is not based on the message being conveyed during a protest.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A former Maine corrections officer who prosecutors say shot and wounded another corrections officer in June is facing felony charges and a civil claim from the shooting victim.
Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Benger was in court in Augusta on Monday for an initial appearance of charges of reckless conduct with a firearm. The Kennebec Journal reports that the suit names 33-year-old Matthew Morrison as the victim.

Socialite Daughter of Famous Ballet Couple Charged With Maine Burglaries

Aug 8, 2017
Knox County Jail / via Bangor Daily News

A 21-year-old arrested and charged for burglarizing three Camden businesses last week with a friend is the daughter of Darci Kistler, former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet, and Peter Martins, chief of the metropolitan ballet company.

Talicia Martins was arrested with 20-year-old Jacob Flanagan after the pair allegedly broke into and stole from the Smoothie Shack, Francine Bistro and Camden Cone last week. Both live in Manhattan, New York.

A Lewiston dentist who had his license temporarily suspended earlier this year is practicing again.

The Maine Board of Dental Practice suspended Dr. Jan Kippax after receiving more than a dozen complaints that alleged he inappropriately restrained patients during dental procedures, conducted procedures before anesthesia took effect, used contaminated gloves and extracted the wrong teeth, among other issues.

In its order in February, the board said it would hold a hearing on the complaints before Kippax’s 30-day suspension expired. But a hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Mother of Woman Shot by Police Files Notice of Lawsuit

Aug 1, 2017
Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

The mother of an 18-year-old woman who was shot to death by police in February in Vassalboro plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the three officers who fired their weapons.

Jessica Fagre filed a notice of claim against the officers, as well as the Vassalboro Police Department, the town of Vassalboro, Kennebec County and Col. Robert A. Williams, the head of the Maine State Police.

AUGUSTA, Maine = Many states are taking a new look at juvenile life without parole after a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, but Maine has for decades avoided imposing life sentences on young people.  
Only a juvenile tried as an adult can receive a life sentence in Maine, and the state attorney general's office said it's not aware of any cases where a juvenile has been sentenced to life. Maine eliminated parole more than four decades ago, so all life sentences are imposed without the possibility of parole.

A spokesman for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York City says the extradition of a man and a woman arrested in connection with the death of a New Gloucester nurse’s aid found alongside an eastern Maine road last week could take several months.

Kevin Ryan, director of communications for the Queens prosecutor’s office, said 37-year-old Carine Reeves of New York City and 19-year-old Quaneysha Greeley, formerly of Lewiston, Maine, are being held without bail.

A Maine Superior Court judge has taken the unusual step of finding that a prisoner’s lengthy stay in solitary confinement amounted to “an atypical and significant hardship.” The case, brought by Maine State Prison inmate Douglas Burr against the Department of Corrections, will now proceed to trial.

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.