SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Christopher Knight, also known as the North Pond Hermit, was indicted on burglary and theft charges by the Somerset County grand jury on Thursday.
Knight, 47, was indicted on one count each of burglary and theft after allegedly breaking into a property in Smithfield. He claimed to have lived alone in the woods near North Pond in Kennebec County for 27 years.
Knight was arrested on April 4 after allegedly burglarizing the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. Smithfield abuts Rome along the county line.
Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Friday she sought an indictment on the charges in case a plea agreement broke down. She would not discuss details of the plea negotiations.
“This doesn’t change anything,” Maloney said. “It doesn’t change our ability to reach an agreement, but if it falls through, we’re ready [to proceed to trial].”
Maloney said that if an agreement is made with Knight to settle the case, an announcement will be made in Somerset County Court on Tuesday, Aug. 27. If not, then the county can proceed to trial.
Knight’s attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, did not immediately return an emailed message seeking comment.
“I do feel positive about reaching an agreement,” Maloney said. “We’ve made a lot of progress. I think we’ll get there.”
Knight is still being held at Kennebec County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Knight told authorities he had committed more than 1,000 burglaries during his nearly three decades of living in the woods.
At the time of his arrest, Knight was wearing a winter jacket, wool hat, hooded sweatshirt, bluejeans and boots — all allegedly stolen. When they searched him for weapons after he was arrested that night, police found only a Leatherman utility knife.
“He did tell me that he was ‘content’ living in the woods,” Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance wrote in the documents.
Knight’s last raid on the Pine Tree Camp yielded Sweet Tarts, bacon and marshmallows, among other items, according to police documents.
In early May, about 40 camp owners converged on the Maine State Police barracks in Skowhegan, where several people reclaimed items allegedly stolen over the years by Knight. Most camp owners opted not to reclaim their property.
The Somerset County grand jury also indicted 21 other people on Thursday.