Brewer woman gets 9 months for fatal hit-and-run

A Brewer woman has been sentenced to nine months in jail after pleading guilty to striking and killing a pedestrian with her car in Bangor, then driving away from the scene.

Patricia Giles reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and falsifying physical evidence in connection with the June hit-and-run death of 37-year-old Joshua Constantine.

Constantine was crossing a street when he was struck and killed instantly.

The 52-year-old Giles turned herself in a week after the crash. In addition to the jail time, she was sentenced to two years of probation and barred from driving for six months.

Her lawyer said there was no evidence his client was reckless or criminally negligent


Lewiston murder trial delayed by judge’s accident

The trial of Lewiston man charged with killing his neighbor has been delayed after the presiding judge was involved in a car crash.

Police say Justice MaryGay Kennedy was taken to the emergency room at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with neck pain after the head-on crash Tuesday morning about a block from the courthouse.

Kennedy is presiding over the trial of 31-year-old Buddy Robinson, who has pleaded not guilty to beating and drowning 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire, who disappeared in July 2011. Her body has never been found. They lived in different units of the same building.

Police tell the Sun Journal another car crossed the centerline and collided with Kennedy’s car. Kennedy then struck a parked car. The driver of the other vehicle did not require medical treatment.


Bangor woman admits to stealing from nonprofit

A former employee of the charitable arm of a Maine hospital group has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $56,000 from the nonprofit.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Laurena Cunningham of Bangor pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing from Healthcare Charities, the charitable arm of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems.

Prosecutors say Cunningham was responsible for handing donations to a courier who deposited the money. She allegedly skimmed cash donations and made up the difference with donated checks held back from earlier deposits.

Authorities say the money was stolen between November 2011 and March.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Healthcare Charities discovered the missing funds through a regular accounting review.

Cunningham faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for next month.

Bangor police find man dead after disturbance call

Police say a man has been found dead in a Bangor home after police were called about a domestic disturbance incident.

Police evacuated the neighborhood and rerouted school buses in the Bolling Drive area after getting a call about 2 p.m. The woman caller said she heard a gunshot as she was leaving the duplex.

WZON-AM reported that a police tactical squad surrounded the house and used a mobile robotic device to determine if anybody was inside. The man’s body was found in an upstairs bedroom about 4:30 p.m.

The man’s name has not been released. The incident is under investigation.


Police investigating theft of bronze vases from graves

Police are investigating the theft of 60 bronze memorial vases from the Brooklawn Memorial Park and Crematory over Veterans Day weekend.

Lt. Scott Pelletier, a spokesman for the police department, said the total value of the memorial vases is about $12,000.

Pelletier said the vases were removed from grave sites — some were veterans’ graves — sometime between Nov. 7 and Veterans Day. Each vase weighs about 10 pounds and has its own unique shape.

Pelletier said the thieves will likely melt the bronze and sell it for scrap.

About two years ago, Portland police investigated another rash of thefts of bronze memorial vases from Brooklawn Memorial.

Portland police urge anyone with information about the thefts to call 874-8533.

Brooklawn Memorial Park, which is privately owned and operated, is located at 2002 Congress St.

Naples man, 21, held on bail in stabbing of another man

A Naples man sought by police in connection with a stabbing last week made an initial court appearance Tuesday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court.

Justin Renna, 21, was arrested Friday night in Portland and charged with aggravated assault and violating bail conditions. He also was charged with refusing to submit to arrest and domestic violence assault.

Renna was wanted in connection with the stabbing Thursday night of a 37-year-old man at 96 Front St. The man was stabbed in the back, then was treated for injuries at Maine Medical Center.

He is being held on $102,000 bail.


SUV hits bridge’s guardrail, shutting down lane of traffic

A father and his two elementary school-age children escaped serious injury Tuesday night when the front end of their sports utility vehicle struck a guardrail on the new Veterans Memorial Bridge and was nearly cut in half.

Sgt. John Sutton said the man told police he was heading southbound on the bridge around 9 p.m. when a vehicle in the right lane started to veer into his lane.

His Chevrolet Suburban struck the end of guardrail, which sliced through the hood of his car, his front windshield and the roof of the SUV.

“He hit the guardrail head-on so it was like hitting a (metallic) spear,” Sutton said.

The southbound lane of the bridge was shut down for about 45 minutes to allow emergency crews to remove the wreckage.

The driver was not injured but his children were taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center as a precautionary measure. The names of those involved in the crash were not available.