Grand jury hands up two murder indictments

Posted Oct. 06, 2008, at 9:52 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:03 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Knox County grand jury on Oct. 3 handed up 63 indictments, including two for murder, one for manslaughter and one for kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Michael L. Chasse, 37, of Maine State Prison, Warren, was indicted on four counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of trafficking in prison contraband.

On June 30, Chasse knowingly restrained Jacqueline Weddle with the attempt to use her as a shield or hostage at the Maine State Prison, and to hold her for ransom or reward, according to the indictment.

He was in prison after having been convicted of aggravated assault on April 2, 1999, in Piscataquis County Superior Court and aggravated assault on April 6, 2001, in Somerset County Superior Court.

Chasse allegedly threatened to stab Weddle in the eye with a homemade knife, placing her in reasonable fear that a crime would be committed.

He also restrained Ryan Currier with the intent to hold him for ransom or reward, and knowingly caused serious bodily injury to Currier with a razor blade or knife, the court document said.

Chasse also violated rules about possessing contraband in prison, and allegedly made or obtained a razor or knife.

Robert E. Harford Jr., 24, of Rockland was indicted on a charge of knowing and depraved indifference, murder and manslaughter in the death of his 9-week-old daughter, Ava Harford, and found to have engaged in conduct that manifested a depraved indifference to the value of human life, which caused her death, the indictment indicated.

Harford initially told police he dropped the child on her head after picking her up from a couch. His daughter was at waist level when he dropped her on the carpeted floor, according to the affidavit.

He told police that he called his girlfriend, the child’s mother, Kirby Gushee, 25, who told him to call 911.

The ambulance arrived and took Ava to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for evaluation. She was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland and was pronounced dead a day later at the hospital.

Harford later allegedly told police he had become frustrated with his daughter and threw her to the floor, according to an earlier Bangor Daily News story.

Steven C. Pomeroy, 24, of Hope was indicted for intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder. According to the grand jury documents, on July 2, Pomeroy intentionally and knowingly caused the death of Jessica Nichols, 22, and showed a depraved indifference to human life. Nichols had multiple sharp-force and blunt-force injuries when her body was found.

According to an earlier court affidavit, told police he had lost his temper over a comment Nichols had made about his former fiancee and he bludgeoned and stabbed Nichols. After cleaning up the blood in his apartment in Hope, he allegedly placed her body in the trunk of his car and drove to a friend’s house in Hope.

Maine State Police Trooper Jeremiah Wesbrock of Troop D barracks in Thomaston said he heard the radio transmission of the 911 call and at 8:25 a.m. arrived at the address where had driven his car. Wesbrock and Knox County deputies found Nichols’ body in the trunk.

Enoch B. Petrucelly, 23, of Palmyra intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Michael Petrucelly, 24, on Aug. 10 at North Haven, according to the indictment.

Petrucelly allegedly used a knife concealed in a “gentleman’s cane” to stab his 24-year-old brother, Michael, three times in the chest while Michael was sleeping, according to earlier court records. Enoch said he thought he and his brother were romantically involved with the same woman, according to the court affidavit released in August.

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