September 11, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Sex charge dismissed in former teacher’s plea deal

Prosecutors have dismissed a charge of sexual abuse of a minor against a former Westbrook substitute teacher as part of a plea deal in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court in which a second charge of unlawful sexual touching will also be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next year.

Dereck Gilman, 25, of Westbrook, who has resigned from the Westbrook School Department, was accused of an inappropriate act with a Westbrook High School student sometime between May 1, 2012, and Jan. 30, 2013, when the student was 17.

The plea deal, in which Gilman must pay a $35 fee, was accepted by Justice Thomas Warren.

Gilman was indicted in May along with Westbrook School Committee member Suzanne Joyce, who was charged with interfering with prosecution of Gilman’s case. Prosecutors dropped the charge against Joyce last week without explaining why she had been indicted.

Bay State man sentenced to 12 years on drug charges

A Massachusetts man has been sentenced in federal court in Maine to 12 years in prison on drug charges.

Joshua Snow of Lynn, Mass., was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to six years of probation upon release.

Snow, 30, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

According to court records, Snow was pulled over by Maine State Police on Interstate 95 in Falmouth in January. He was found to be in possession of 500 oxycodone pills.

Police said Snow said the pills were his and that he intended to distribute them.

Snow was found to be career offender which subjected him to harsher sentencing penalties.


Woman dies from injuries in kitchen fire on Sept. 4 

A Brunswick woman has died from injuries she suffered in a fire last week. Harriet Soulen, 91, died overnight Monday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Soulen was cooking at her home at 14 Beech Drive on Sept. 4 when her clothing caught fire, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. Fire damage was confined to the kitchen.

Chamberlain’s war medal returns to historical society

Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain’s original Medal of Honor has arrived back in Brunswick.
The medal Chamberlain received in 1893 for his heroism at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg is at the Pejepscot Historical Society.

The historical society received the medal in an anonymous package in July but questioned its authenticity.

But historians verified that the medal was real. The Brunswick home where the Maine native lived more than 50 years is now a museum.


Settlement reached in fatal crash of small plane, truck

A nearly $4 million settlement has been reached between the families of three men who died in a small plane crash last year and several other parties.

Two University of Maine students and one alumnus died in the November crash that occurred when their plane clipped a pickup truck on takeoff at Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head. The truck was authorized to be on airport grounds and had issued a warning.

The victims were David Cheney, 22, of Beverly, Mass.; Marcelo Rugini, 24, an exchange student from Brazil; and the pilot and alumnus, William “B.J.” Hannigan III, 24, of South Portland.

County lawyer Peter Marchesi told WMTW-TV that insurance companies for the truck driver, his employer and Hannigan’s flying club paid the bulk of the settlement.


Teen arrested after chase in stolen car, police say

A teenager from Portland is in jail after police say he led them on a high-speed chase in a stolen car before being caught on foot in Portland.

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