February 6, 2013

Falmouth party jury at impasse, to try again

Divided jurors take an overnight break and will resume seeking a verdict Thursday in the case against two Falmouth parents.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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A key witness, Lucas Hallett, who was a Falmouth police officer at the time of the party and is now a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy, is questioned by District Attorney Stephanie Anderson during the trial of Barry and Paula Spencer.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Paula Spencer briefly chats with husband Barry Spencer during a break in the trial on Wednesday.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Jack Cooleen, a member of the lacrosse team who graduated from Falmouth High in June, testified Wednesday that he went to three parties that day -- the lacrosse banquet, his own graduation party, then the party at the Spencers' home.

Cooleen said he didn't drink alcohol at the first two parties but had a backpack filled with 30 cans of beer when he arrived at the Spencers' house with a group of friends.

"I avoided Mr. Spencer before I put my backpack down," he said.

"Once Mr. Spencer came out of the garage, I brought (the backpack) into the basement and hid it."

Cooleen said that, early on, he knew almost everyone at the party, but after 11 p.m., teenagers from surrounding towns began crashing the party, arriving with alcohol.

"They were asked to leave, and they would circle around and come back," Cooleen said.

The final witness for the prosecution, former Falmouth police officer Lucas Hallett, also testified Wednesday morning.

He described chasing teenagers around the Spencers' backyard as they fled from police into the nearby woods shortly before midnight.

"They saw us, stopped, did a double take and went back behind the house," Hallett said.

"I ran toward the woods in an attempt to get between the fleeing people and the woods."

Hallett described seeing empty beer cans, a vodka bottle and empty cardboard beer cases "strewn all over the place" in the backyard.

The charges against the Spencers are misdemeanors, punishable by as much as a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

They initially were charged with nine counts each, but two of the counts were dropped during the trial after expected testimony didn't happen.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

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