Court News

 
Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez and defense attorney Charles Rankin  listen to US Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh addressing the jury before sending them to continue deliberation in his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 10, 2015.

After 4 days, no verdict in ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial

By Reuters on April 10, 2015, at 1:44 p.m.
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — The jury in the murder trial of former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez finished its fourth day of deliberations on Friday without a verdict. Hernandez, 25, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, is accused of fatally shooting semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd …
Karen Thurlow-Kimball is across a courtroom from where her husband, Merrill "Mike" Kimball, stands Monday in Portland. Merrill Kimball, 72, is accused of shooting Leon Kelley on Oct. 6, 2013, in North Yarmouth.

Experts: Bee farm slaying victim shot 3 times at close range

By Beth Brogan on April 10, 2015, at 1:39 p.m.
PORTLAND | Jurors in the murder trial of lobster fisherman Merrill Kimball, 72, of Yarmouth saw photos of the gunshot wounds that killed Leon Kelley in October 2013 and heard in detail from Maine’s chief medical examiner that any one of the three bullets that entered Kelley’s body could …

Maine truck driver charged in fatal Pennsylvania crash headed for trial

By Gordon Rago, York Daily Record on April 10, 2015, at 12:33 p.m.
The attorney representing a Maine truck driver charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of a York, Pennsylvania, man on Interstate 83 said his client was negligent, but not criminally negligent. Douglas Marsico, an attorney with Caldwell and Kearns in Harrisburg, is representing Michael Grandmaison, who in February was …

Parole OK’d for last of four teens charged in 1990 Gregory Smart murder

By Dale Vincent, The New Hampshire Union Leader on April 10, 2015, at 12:21 p.m.
CONCORD — An aunt of 1990 murder victim Gregory Smart Thursday sought to have one of the teens convicted in the murder barred from living in New Hampshire after his release on lifetime parole June 4. Debbie Smart told the adult parole board: “I am deathly afraid of this man. …

Caribou man pleads guilty to federal firearm charge

By Dawn Gagnon on April 09, 2015, at 7:16 p.m.
BANGOR | A Caribou man pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said in a news release. George D. LaCasse, 35, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Delahanty said. LaCasse …

Maine veteran admits lying to VA about employment to increase benefits

By Judy Harrison on April 09, 2015, at 6:19 p.m.
BANGOR | A veteran in Wayne admitted Wednesday in U.S. District Court that he illegally received more than $50,000 in veterans benefits while holding down a job. Lawrence A. Stewart, 48, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public money, according to the U.S. attorney’s …
Leanna Norris, 25, of Auburn enters court during her sentencing Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Mother who smothered toddler gets 37 years for murder

By Judy Harrison on April 09, 2015, at 4:10 p.m.
BANGOR | The woman who smothered her 2½-year-old daughter and then tried to kill herself two years ago was sentenced Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to 37 years in prison. Leanna Norris, 25, of Auburn, formerly of Stetson, was convicted in December of murder after a jury-waived trial. …
Merrill “Mike” Kimball stands during a recess in his murder trial in Portland on Monday. Kimball, 72, is accused of shooting Leon Kelley on Oct. 6, 2013, in North Yarmouth.

Bee farm murder suspect: ‘I was afraid for my life’

By Beth Brogan on April 09, 2015, at 2:12 p.m.
PORTLAND | Prosecution witnesses testified Thursday that 72-year-old Yarmouth lobsterman Merrill Kimball could have avoided a confrontation with Leon Kelley on the day that he shot and killed the Georgetown man, and that Kimball’s breath smelled of alcohol immediately after the shooting. Thursday marked the fourth day in the …
William Morse on the first day of his trial at the Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth on Wednesday, April 8. Morse is charged with killing Trenton resident Richard Bellittieri.

Murder defendant denies assuming victim’s identity

By Bill Trotter on April 09, 2015, at 1:44 p.m.
ELLSWORTH | A man accused of killing a Trenton man in July 2012 told police that if anyone thought he was trying to pass himself off as anyone else, it must have just been a misunderstanding. The jury hearing evidence in the murder trial of William Morse heard an …
Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez sits with defense attorney Charles Rankin before the jury began deliberations in his murder trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 9, 2015.

Judge in Aaron Hernandez murder trial warns of mistrial risk

By Scott Malone, Reuters on April 09, 2015, at 11:46 a.m.
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — The judge in former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial on Thursday reprimanded a local television station after two jurors reported being followed by one of its trucks, warning the incident could have led to a mistrial. The jury has begun its third day …

Sexual abuse allegations made against former Biddeford police officer

By Beth Brogan on April 09, 2015, at 8:32 a.m.
Two men have accused a former Biddeford police officer of sexually abusing them as boys more than a decade ago. Attorney Walter McKee said Thursday that his firm is conducting a civil investigation of allegations of sexual abuse by a retired Biddeford police officer and the police …
Leanna Norris enters the courtroom on the first day of her murder trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor in October 2014.

Prosecution to recommend 45-year sentence for Maine mom who smothered toddler

By Judy Harrison on April 09, 2015, at 5:27 a.m.
BANGOR | A Maine woman who killed her 2½-year-old daughter nearly two years ago will be sentenced Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Leanna Norris, 25, of Auburn, formerly of Stetson, was convicted in December of murder after a jury-waived trial. The prosecution will recommend she spend 45 years …

Waterville electrician fined for working without a license on marijuana-growing facility

By Judy Harrison on April 08, 2015, at 3:47 p.m.
GARDINER | A Waterville man has been ordered to pay penalties of $8,250 for electrical work he did last year for a marijuana-growing facility in a Fairfield strip mall, the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation said Wednesday. Craig Shores was found on March 20 by the Electricians’ …
Defense attorney Daniel Lilley delivers an opening argument to jurors in Portland on Monday in the murder trial of Merrill "Mike" Kimball. Kimball, 72, is accused of shooting Leon Kelley on Oct. 6, 2013, in North Yarmouth.

Defense argues bee farm victim sparked incident that led to shooting

By Beth Brogan on April 08, 2015, at 3:44 p.m.
PORTLAND | For the second day in a row, defense attorney Dan Lilley aggressively challenged prosecution witnesses in an attempt to convince the jury in Merrill “Mike” Kimball’s murder trial that Kimball shot and killed Leon Kelley in self-defense in October 2013. The defense and prosecution agree Kimball, 70, …
Nicholas Condon

Portland man arraigned on Ohio Street standoff charges

By Judy Harrison on April 08, 2015, at 2:59 p.m.
BANGOR | A Portland man accused of causing a six-hour standoff at the home of his ex-fiancee in Bangor on Feb. 8 pleaded not guilty Wednesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to a variety of charges. Nicholas Condon, 27, was indicted last month by the Penobscot County grand jury …
William Morse is escorted into the courtroom at the Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth on Aug. 2, 2013, for his first appearance.

Trial begins for murder suspect who assumed victim’s identity

By Bill Trotter on April 08, 2015, at 2:41 p.m.
ELLSWORTH | As the murder trial of William Morse got underway Wednesday in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court, a prosecutor boiled down Morse’s motive to one word: greed. In his opening statement to the jury, Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber referred to the Pink Floyd song “Money” and quoted …
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Tsarnaev convicted in Boston bombing, may face death sentence

By Scott Malone, Elizabeth Barber and Richard Valdmanis, Reuters on April 08, 2015, at 2:14 p.m.
BOSTON — Dzokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty Wednesday of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured 264 others, and the jury will now decide whether to sentence him to death. Tsarnaev, 21, is the surviving member of pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who planted the homemade …
Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez looks up as his defense attorney James Sultan shows a video of Hernandez's home during his murder trial in Fall River, Massachusetts April 7, 2015.

Witness or killer? Ex-NFL star’s trial goes to jury

By Daniel Lovering, Reuters on April 08, 2015, at 8:27 a.m.
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — Jurors in the murder trial of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez were asked by lawyers on both sides on Tuesday to decide whether the ex-athlete killed a man in 2013, or watched as one of his friends did it. Hernandez, 25, is charged …
Clarence Cote (left), 65, of Nemaha, Nebraska, is escorted into the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center on March 7, 2014.

Lawyer: Lost evidence in sex assault trial should reverse conviction

By Judy Harrison on April 08, 2015, at 7:48 a.m.
PORTLAND | The conviction of a man serving a five-year sentence for sexually assaulting a young relative in 1990 should be reversed and his client released because a key piece of evidence was lost, the man’s attorney, Stephen Smith of Augusta, told the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday. …

DeCosters to be sentenced in Iowa for sale of tainted eggs

By Judy Harrison on April 07, 2015, at 6:24 p.m.
BANGOR | An Iowa egg farm owner, whose business started in Maine, and his son will be sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Iowa for their roles in the sale of contaminated eggs linked to a 2010 salmonella outbreak blamed for sickening an estimated 56,000 people nationwide. In …
 
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