June 27, 2019
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Man accused of killing dog back in jail for alleged fight with girlfriend

Courtesy of Hancock County Jail
Courtesy of Hancock County Jail
Nathan Burke Hancock County Jail photo

A Hancock County man already out on bail for allegedly killing a dog named Franky is back in jail after an alleged fight with a girlfriend, officials said Wednesday.

Nathan Burke, 37, of Hancock was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty in Hancock County Unified Court on Tuesday to charges related to the alleged fight, his attorney, Jeff Toothaker, said Wednesday.

Burke was charged Saturday with domestic violence assault, violation of bail, criminal mischief and obstructing the report of a crime in connection with a disturbance a neighbor reported at a Willys Way residence in Ellsworth late Saturday, Capt. Troy Bires of the Ellsworth Police Department said.

When officers arrived, Burke was gone, but a woman who identified herself as his live-in girlfriend told police that Burke had shoved her during an argument, causing her to land on her 4-year-old daughter. The girl suffered minor injuries, Bires said.

The incident was reported at about 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Bires said.

Witnesses alleged that Burke smashed the phone of the girlfriend’s mother as she tried to call 911 to report the disturbance, so the neighbor called for help instead. A Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy later located Burke in Hancock, where he surrendered without incident, Bires said.

Burke claims his nose was broken during the fight and that the woman was injured as he fled, Toothaker said.

Burke went to the home of his ex-wife, who called police on his behalf, Toothaker said.

“He showed up at her house just bloodied,” the lawyer said.

Toothaker argued for a $500 bail during his client’s appearance at Hancock County Unified Court in Ellsworth on Tuesday, but Judge Bruce Jordan ordered Burke held without bail. Toothaker said he will argue for Burke’s release or a low bond during the next appearance on March 6.

Burke and another man already face trial on charges of burglary, theft, aggravated criminal mischief and aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with the shooting death last summer of Franky, a Boston terrier and pug mix who belonged to a Winter Harbor fisherman.

Franky went missing last August when his owner was out of town. The dog’s body was found a few days later washed up on a beach in Winter Harbor by the wife of Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster. Foster has recused himself from prosecuting the case because his wife is a witness.

Burke and the other suspect are accused of entering Phil Torrey’s house, kidnapping Franky, taking Torrey’s Hummer for a joyride and then shooting the dog. Both men have told police Franky ran off during the joyride, and they never saw him again.

That case is pending. Burke is due in court on the domestic violence charges on March 6, Toothaker said.

 



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