Courts and Crime

Tens of thousands of people in Maine have been convicted of OUI multiple times without having their licenses permanently revoked.

Data from the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, going back to 1980, indicate almost 50,000 drivers in Maine have 2 OUI convictions, almost 4,000 have 5 and one person has 18. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says Maine doesn’t have permanent license revocations, although it’s something that he would support in the case of some chronic offenders.

WEST BATH, Maine - A Maine man accused of crashing into a police car while intoxicated last year has been convicted of drunken driving for the ninth time.
Mark Burson, of Limestone, was sentenced Wednesday. He will serve seven years in prison followed by three years of probation.
Burson's attorney had asked for a four-year sentence, saying Burson struggled with alcoholism, while prosecutors had pushed for 10 years.

Federal prosecutors say two Westbrook men face multiple charges for conspiring to turn food stamp and other welfare benefits into cash, in a scheme based at a Portland halal market.

Agents from three federal agencies — the FBI, IRS and the Department of Agriculture, which administers food stamps — were tipped to the alleged criminal enterprise by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services last year, according to an affidavit for a warrant to raid the Ahram Halal Market on Portland’s Forest Avenue.

PORTLAND, Maine - A former Maine health official accused of binding her 5-year-old foster child in a high chair with duct tape and convicted of manslaughter in the child's death has been released from prison.
WCSH-TV reports ex-Department of Health and Human Services supervisor Sally Schofield left prison Tuesday.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed a complaint under Maine’s Civil Rights Act in an incident police have called a hate crime.

Mills says Jaime Hoffman was charged with assault in the incident, in which he allegedly yelled racially charged epithets at a group of five students waiting for a school bus outside Casco Bay High School in Portland. She is asking the court for an order.

“Enjoining this fellow from ever using physical force or violence to attack these victims or violate anybody else’s civil rights,” she says.

The former state prosecutor who won a murder conviction against Anthony Sanborn 25 years ago is denying allegations that she mishandled the trial.

Sanborn was granted bail last week after a key witness for the state recanted her testimony. Attorney Pamela Ames says she’s disturbed that the judge granted bail after only hearing witnesses for the defense.

Former Prosecutor Under Fire in Sanborn Case Says She Intends to Testify

Apr 21, 2017
Bangor Daily News/file

PORTLAND, Maine — The lawyer who prosecuted Anthony Sanborn said Thursday that a Portland court rushed to judgment last week in granting bail after a key witness recanted the testimony that was pivotal to convicting him of the 1989 murder of a 16-year-old girl.

PORTLAND, Maine - Attorneys are awaiting a new court date in the case of a Maine man who has spent 27 years in prison for a 1989 murder and whose guilt has been called into question.

A private prisoner transport company is denying that it mistreated a Maine inmate last year.

Tennessee-based Prisoner Transport Services told the Lewiston Sun Journal that its own internal affairs investigator found no evidence that 34-year-old Meghan Quinn of Lewiston was neglected during a five-day trip from Florida to Maine.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Around the country and the world there’s a growing movement calling for the end to solitary confinement, also known as administrative segregation, restrictive housing or lockdown. Here in Maine, the Department of Corrections is leading the effort to curtail its use.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

A man who has served nearly three decades in prison for a murder in Portland was granted bail Thursday due to new evidence that casts doubt on his guilt.

Franklin County Jail via Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A father charged with murder nearly 38 years after the death of his 4-month-old son is due in court.

Burton "Ben'' Hagar was charged with murder after being indicted last week. The death of his son, Nathan, was originally classified as sudden infant death syndrome but the investigation was reopened in 1991.

Hagar was due for his first court appearance Wednesday in Portland.

Maine State Police detectives have arrested a former Brunswick man in connection with the death of his 4-month-old son nearly 38 years ago, a death that was originally investigated as sudden infant death syndrome.

Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland says 62-year-old Burton “Ben” Hagar was arrested Friday without incident at his home in Farmington, where he now lives. McCausland says Hagar is the first person to be charged following an investigation by the new state police Unsolved Homicide Unit.

People in the Maine's Kennebec Valley are being targeted by yet another phone scam.

MaineGeneral spokeswoman Joy McKenna says this time scammers appear to be calling from MaineGeneral Health.

"These calls were trying to get credit card numbers, saying they wanted to make sure MaineGeneral bills are being paid, or to help with debt service," McKenna says.

Some of the calls are automated. McKenna says MaineGeneral does call people for payment on unpaid medical bills, but doesn't use an automated system.  

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents took the unusual step Thursday of arresting a Somali man in a Portland courthouse, where he was meeting with his attorney, raising concerns from his attorney and immigration advocates.

According to his court-appointed attorney, Tina Nadeau, 28-year-old Abdi Ali was in Cumberland District Court to plead not guilty to a misdemeanor OUI charge. After the hearing he met Nadeau in a side room. That’s where she says a man in civilian garb abruptly entered the room.

She assumed he was her next client of the day.