Judy Harrison

Courts Reporter

 
Superior Court Justice Thomas Humphrey

Committee endorses Humphrey’s nomination to high court

By Judy Harrison on June 02, 2015, at 5 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed the nomination of Superior Court Justice Thomas Humphrey to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Humphrey of Sanford was nominated last month by Gov. Paul LePage to replace Warren Silver, who retired in December. A date for a confirmation vote by …
Stan Moody, founder of Maine Prison Chaplaincy Corps, is a former state representative and most recently served as a chaplain at Maine State Prison in Warren.

Forum set to help Columbia Street Project define its ‘hand up’ vision

By Judy Harrison on June 02, 2015, at 8:10 a.m.
BANGOR | The Columbia Street Project, located next door to the Columbia Street Baptist Church, will hold a forum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday to discuss how the nonprofit can help meet the needs of people who have been affected by the criminal justice system, poverty, substance …

Two men plead guilty to bringing crack cocaine to Portland

By Judy Harrison on June 01, 2015, at 8:56 p.m.
Two men from out of state pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to drug charges in connection with a crack cocaine distribution ring, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Russell Gordon, 31, of Ansonia, Connecticut, and Robert Joiner, Jr., 30, of Detroit, Michigan, pleaded guilty in …
John Amos Lane

Auburn man serving life for 1984 oven death seeks new trial

By Judy Harrison on June 01, 2015, at 2:20 p.m.
BANGOR | A man serving a life sentence for killing a 4-year-old child by placing her in an oven more than 30 years ago took a small step toward a new trial when a federal judge Friday refused to grant the state’s motion to dismiss the case. John Amos …

Pharmacy robber tells Bangor judge: ‘Addiction is the problem’

By Judy Harrison on May 29, 2015, at 6:55 p.m.
A Sangerville man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 10 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Bingham pharmacy more than three years ago. James Stile, 58, pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to one count of robbery of a controlled substance from a pharmacy. …

Man pleads not guilty to $80,000 bank fraud

By Judy Harrison on May 29, 2015, at 6:18 p.m.
PORTLAND | A former Richmond man pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to committing bank fraud in 2008 when he was president of an investment firm. Howard Hoffman, 52, who now lives in Moorpark, California, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, appeared by video conference from …
Michael Chapman, 37, listens during his trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on Monday.

Newport man arrested after getting lost in woods released from jail

By Judy Harrison on May 29, 2015, at 6:54 a.m.
BANGOR | The man who spent nearly 24 hours lost in the woods of Piscataquis County earlier this week only to be arrested on a warrant for unpaid fines when he emerged was released from jail Thursday after setting up a new payment schedule with the judge. Michael W. …
Christopher Saenz enters the courtroom for the first day of his jury-waived trial on May 18 in Bangor. He is accused of killing his wife, Hilary Saenz, on Christmas day 2013.

Judge to decide fate of Ellsworth man accused of killing wife

By Judy Harrison on May 28, 2015, at 5:40 p.m.
BANGOR | The fate of an Ellsworth man accused of killing his wife on Christmas Day 2013 rests with a Superior Court judge after closing arguments were presented Thursday after seven days of testimony in his jury-waived trial. Christopher Saenz, 32, is accused of beating Hilary Saenz, 29, to …

Topsham man admits lying about lien on drug dealer’s house

By Judy Harrison on May 28, 2015, at 5:25 p.m.
PORTLAND | A Topsham man waived indictment Wednesday and pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S. District Court. By pleading guilty, Brian Lafrance, 36, admitted that between Jan. 17, 2014, and Oct. 29, 2014, the defendant sought to fraudulently obtain $6,383 by claiming that he was owed for electrical …

Maine couple accused of using nearly $100,000 meant for disabled daughters

By Judy Harrison on May 28, 2015, at 4:13 p.m.
PORTLAND | A Topsham couple has been charged in U.S. District Court and accused of diverting nearly $100,000 in Social Security disability benefits from their disabled twin daughters for their own use between October 2006 and July 2013. Jill Gerken, 61, and Thomas Gerken, 62, made their first court …
Jon Kenneson

Grand jury indicts 2 men accused of robbing man of cash in Bangor

By Judy Harrison on May 27, 2015, at 4:05 p.m.
Two local men charged in connection with a robbery last month were indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury. Jon Kenneson, 19, of Hermon and Jesse D. Rosebush, 19, of Bangor were indicted on one count of robbery each. They are expected to be arraigned June …
Christopher Saenz looks around the courtroom last week after entering for the first day of his jury-waived trial for allegedly murdering his wife Hilary Saenz on Christmas day 2013.

Witness: Ellsworth man accused of killing wife bought heroin

By Judy Harrison on May 27, 2015, at 2:10 p.m.
BANGOR | The final witness in the murder trial of an Ellsworth man accused of killing his wife on Christmas Day 2013 testified that he sold the defendant heroin in the month before the woman’s death. Michael Bills of Bangor took the stand on the seventh day of testimony …
Christopher Saenz looks around the courtroom after entering for the first day of his jury waived trial on May 18 in Bangor. He is accused of murdering his wife, Hilary Saenz, on Christmas day 2013.

Recording to be played of family friend reporting Ellsworth man’s threat to kill wife

By Judy Harrison on May 26, 2015, at 6:56 p.m.
BANGOR | The recording made by an Ellsworth police officer that includes a family friend reporting that Christopher Saenz threatened to kill his wife two weeks before she died will be played Wednesday on the seventh day of his murder trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Saenz, 32 , …
Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty

Oversight of inmate benefit accounts relies on county vigilance

By Judy Harrison on May 26, 2015, at 5:32 a.m.
BANGOR | The administration and spending of inmate benefit accounts varies among Maine’s county jails, and oversight of the funds at the state level does not involve close inspection of checks and receipts, according to several sheriffs and corrections officials. The indictment on May 4 of former Washington County …
Christopher Saenz looks around the courtroom after entering for the first day of his jury-waived trial on May 18 in Bangor. He is accused of murdering his wife, Hilary Saenz, on Christmas day 2013.

Defense expert: Ellsworth mom died of fall, not beating from husband

By Judy Harrison on May 22, 2015, at 2:20 p.m.
BANGOR | A medical examiner from Maryland on Friday said that a woman who died Christmas Day 2013 in her Ellsworth home suffered bleeding in the brain as a result of a fall forward, not as the result of a beating. Dr. David Fowler, the chief medical examiner for …
Christopher Saenz looks around the courtroom Monday.

Examiner: Ellsworth mother died of blunt force trauma

By Judy Harrison on May 21, 2015, at 1:23 p.m.
BANGOR | The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the Ellsworth woman who died Christmas Day 2013 testified Thursday that Hilary Saenz died of blunt force trauma to the head and body. Dr. Margaret Greenwald, the retired chief medical examiner for Maine, said the 29-year-old woman suffered a …

Jury awards Minot couple nearly $10 million for misread Pap smears

By Judy Harrison on May 21, 2015, at 10:52 a.m.
AUBURN | A jury Tuesday awarded a Minot woman and her husband more than $9.6 million in damages in one of the largest medical malpractice awards in Maine after finding a Central Maine Medical Center employee misread her Pap smears. Ruth Hricko, 63, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer, …

Ex-UMaine student admits burglarizing cop’s home over ticket

By Judy Harrison on May 20, 2015, at 7:13 p.m.
BANGOR | A former University of Maine student accused of trying to break into the home of the campus police officer who refused to dismiss a parking ticket pleaded guilty Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to burglary and other charges. Luke Cushman-Cole, 21, of Fletchers Landing Township, which …
Christopher Saenz listens to opening statements Monday on the first day of his jury-waived trial for allegedly killing his wife Hilary Saenz on Christmas day 2013.

Man on trial used drugs before wife died on Christmas Day

By Judy Harrison on May 20, 2015, at 12:50 p.m.
BANGOR | The Ellsworth man on trial for killing his wife on Christmas Day 2013 admitted to police the he injected an opioid substitute shortly before she died. Christopher Saenz, 32 , allegedly beat Hilary Saenz, 29, to death in their Central Street apartment while their two children, then …
POLL QUESTION
Malcolm French and his wife, Barbara, leave federal court in Bangor on Jan. 14, 2014.

Judge denies pot farm defendant’s request to visit dying dad

By Judy Harrison on May 20, 2015, at 10:53 a.m.
BANGOR | A federal judge on Tuesday refused to release one of the men convicted in the Township 37 marijuana plantation operation so he could visit his dying father — 10 days after the father died. U.S. District Judge John Woodcock found that Malcolm French was a flight risk …
 
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