Courts and Crime

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland Police say they've arrested a 28-year-old citizen of Norway in connection with email threats to kill officers using explosives and high powered rifles.  

Portland officers and the FBI took Espen Brungodt into custody today at around 1 p.m. at the Residence Inn in Portland.  

The threats led to the temporary closure of a parking garage near the police station and evacuation of the Cumberland County Courthouse.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has suspended a York County probate judge for violating judicial conduct.

This is the third time Robert Nadeau has been disciplined.

Courtesy: Maine Drug Enforcement Agency

PORTLAND, Maine - Already this year, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has responded to more meth labs, and meth dump sites, than it did in all of 2015.  This year, that's 86 responses, compared with 56 for all of last year.

MDEA Director Roy McKinney says those numbers are very high for the area. "For Maine, the activity in meth production is greater than the other five New England states combined."

The parents of a 17-year-old girl killed in 2014 in a hayride accident are suing the owner of the farm where the accident happened.

Cassidy Charette of Oakland was killed at Harvest Hill Farms, and 22 other people were injured, when a Jeep pulling the hay wagon went out of control and flipped over.

Attorney Jodi Nofsinger, who is representing the Charettes in the wrongful death lawsuit, says the tour operators likely knew the 1979 Jeep was not safe.

A federal appeals court has upheld jail sentences for egg industry executive Jack DeCoster and his son, Peter, whose Iowa company caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010.

The DeCosters were originally sentenced to three months in jail for what U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett called a “litany of shameful conduct” that occurred at their Iowa egg production company. But they were allowed their freedom while they appealed their sentences. They argued, and business groups agreed, that the sentences were unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Inmates at the Maine State Prison in Warren and the Maine Correctional Center in Windham have a new resource to help them maintain their sobriety: their peers. 

Maine’s Human Rights Commission on Monday found that eight people who said they’d been discriminated against under Maine law had reasonable grounds for going forward with their cases.

The commission investigates complaints of unlawful discrimination in several spheres, including at work.

The commission found Shasta Roy had reasonable grounds for her hostile workplace and sexual harassment complaint against Theorore’s Seamless Gutters in Richmond.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday against two Maine men who were caught with guns in violation of a federal statute.

Both Stephen Voisine of Wytopitlock and William Armstrong III of New Vineyard had misdemeanor domestic assault convictions.

A federal judge has thrown out a $14 million defamation suit involving a Maine activist who publicized sex abuse allegations against a former catholic brother who ran an orphanage in Haiti. The judge ruled that the plaintiff in the case was not living in the United States when the claim was filed, and so the suit should never have been heard in a US court.

Maine’s prison system has had a tough time finding and keeping guards, with as many as three dozen officer positions unfilled at the Maine State Prison. A pay raise approved by the Legislature last year has helped the recruitment effort, but now the system faces a new challenge.

Guards had complained about long hours and low pay. And they told lawmakers that they could make better money as private security guards.

A state court is giving a reprieve to three Maine harness horsemen who had been suspended and fined by state regulators over horse doping allegations.

In all, the Harness Racing Commission suspended the licenses of seven trainers in Maine for as long as 15 months for administering a substance called cobalt to horses. Their blood was tested after they won races last year.

Cobalt is a trace element that can stimulate production of red blood cells and blood-oxygen levels in some animals, but whose role in horse racing is in dispute.

Nora Flaherty / MPBN

The Portland Police Department is looking for help finding a suspect who assaulted three women, and robbed two, in the city’s West End.

He’s described as a white male who’s about 30 years old, between 5 feet, 7 inches and 6 feet tall, long blonde hair, heavy, with two or more lower lip piercings and wearing a baseball hat and glasses.

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge says Portland cannot use its noise law to restrict anti-abortion protesters outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen ruled Monday in favor of a Lewiston pastor who contended he was unlawfully targeted because of his views.

Andrew March filed the lawsuit after a member of his Cell 53 church was sued by the state attorney general to prevent him from coming within 50 feet of the Planned Parenthood facility.

MADISON, Maine — Two former Madison police officers say they were discriminated against due to their age when the town transferred police operations to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office last year.

The Morning Sentinel reports David Trask and Joseph Mitchell filed separate complaints in April with the Maine Human Rights Commission that named the town of Madison as a defendant.

The man who became known as the North Pond Hermit is appealing a court order to pay restitution.

Christopher Knight garnered international attention after he was arrested in April 2013. He had lived alone in the woods for 27 years at North Pond, near Waterville, and committed an estimated 1,000 burglaries to sustain himself.

But his makeshift camp in the woods, it turns out, created an extra expense for state police to access the site, collect evidence and later dismantle it. The tab, says Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, is a little over $1,000.

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