The Aroostook County man who killed two people and wounded three others in a two-county rampage over two days in July 2015 following the death of his infant son was sentenced Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor to life in prison.
Anthony Lord, 37, of Crystal pleaded guilty last month to murdering Kyle Hewitt, 22, of Benedicta and Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee; shooting and wounding Kim Irish, 57, Clayton McCarthy, 57, and Carlton Eddy, 52, all of Benedicta; and assaulting Kary Mayo, 40, of Silver Ridge with a hammer.
Lord blamed his rampage on the loss of his 6-month-old son Larry Earl Lord, who died on May 5, 2015 — 2 ½ months before the shootings. Lord, who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, was frustrated by the fact that the investigation into his son’s death was taking so long, his lawyer told the court.
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray’s sentence was imposed after a 2 1/2 -hour hearing in which family members of the victims and the prosecution asked Lord be given life in prison.
Shelly Hewitt, 53, of Caribou told Murray that her son, Kyle, called her as he lay dying after Lord shot him nine times. She could hear her son “moan in agony” as he waited for the ambulance to arrive and the concern of emergency medical personnel once it got there, she said.
After the hearing, Hewitt said she was pleased with the life sentence but said that it did not bring her or her family closure.
“There is no closure ever in death of a son,” she said. “It just doesn’t happen. We just put one foot in front of the other every day.”
Defense attorneys David Bate of Bangor and Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth told Murray that their client should not spend the rest of his life behind bars because Lord was distraught over the death of his son. The boy died as a result of bleeding in his brain and a fractured skull, according to the autopsy report.
Jessee Mackin, 34, of Millinocket was charged in February 2016 with manslaughter in connection with the baby’s death. He is free on $25,000 cash bail. Mackin’s trial has been tentatively set for October.
“My son was murdered on May 5,” Lord told Murray. “I said at his funeral that there is no justice in any situation like this because no one can give back what’s been taken.”
Lord last month pleaded guilty to the bulk of the charges against him to avoid putting the families of the victims through a trial and the media attention it would bring, he said.
Bate read Lord’s handwritten apologies to the families of the men he killed and his other victims.
“I do know how it feels to have a son murdered,” Bate read. “I do hope you all will find peace. I know there is nothing I can do or say that will bring Kyle and Kevin back.”
Lord wiped tears from his eyes as Bate read a letter addressed to Hewitt’s young sons, Josh and Ben.
“I’m sorry I took your daddy away,” the attorney read.
Bate said that none of the events that took place on July 16 and 17, 2015, would have happened if his son hadn’t died a few months earlier. The attorney said a sentence in the 40-year range would be sufficient.
Lord blamed Mackin for his son’s death and wanted to kill him even though he did not go to Mackin’s home during the rampage, Assistant Attorney General Zainea told the judge. She recommended the judge sentence Lord to life in prison because there were multiple victims and because Hewitt’s murder was premeditated.
Lord faced between 25 years and life in prison on the murder convictions alone.
Maine does not have a death penalty but Superior Court Justices may impose life sentences for murder in specific circumstances. There is no possibility for early release.
In handing down the sentence, the judge rejected the premeditation argument but found that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors and that a life sentence was warranted due to the number of victims.
In addition to shooting five people and assaulting a sixth, Lord also set fire to a barn, stole firearms from a Silver Ridge Township home and beat a man there after tying him to a chair.
Most of the crime spree occurred with police trying to catch up with Lord as he raced through several Aroostook and Penobscot county towns on July 16 and 17, 2015.
Lord burned a barn in Benedicta late July 16, stole weapons and committed the assault in Silver Ridge before returning to the fire scene in Benedicta early the next day. There, he wounded Irish and killed Hewitt as Hewitt slept on a couch in Irish’s home. He shot Eddy as Eddy went to the barn to see the damage done by the fire, and left Benedicta.
Lord was then in a high-speed chase with police in Medway, with Lord
shooting at an officer. Lord evaded his pursuers and shot Tozier dead and wounded McCarthy in a woodlot in Lee while stealing a pulp truck — possibly a change in vehicles to confuse his pursuers.
Lord has a long criminal history, including a conviction for an assault on a corrections officer at the Penobscot County Jail after his arrest for the rampage, and is a lifetime registrant of the Maine Sex Offender Registry.