July 3, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Supreme Judicial Court nixes convicted killer's appeal

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied an appeal by a Limington man who sought to overturn his conviction for fatally shooting his wife in 2010.

Patrick Dapolito, 43, was convicted in York County Superior Court in February 2012 of murdering Kelly Winslow, 30, in their Limington home. He is now serving a 55-year prison sentence.

Dapolito contended at trial that his wife was a casualty of a dispute between him and associates of his marijuana-trafficking business. In his appeal, he challenged the court's decision to exclude expert testimony from a former DEA agent on the likelihood and ability of a drug organization to be responsible for the murder.

In its decision issued Tuesday, the high court said that even if the former DEA agent had been permitted to testify, what the agent had to say would have been "not relevant" because it is a matter of "common knowledge."

 

Chief justice wins Sampson Catalyst for Change Award

Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley has been named the winner of the University of Southern Maine's Sampson Catalyst for Change Award.

The school says Saufley is the seventh winner of the annual award given by USM's Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.

The center presents the award each October to a Mainer who commemorates the life, work and values of the late Jean Byers Sampson, who devoted much of her life to working on issues of diversity, academic freedom, civil rights and civil liberties.

Saufley is the first female chief of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

HANCOCK

Two die after SUV hits parked vehicle

State police say a sport utility vehicle smashed into a parked vehicle in the town of Hancock, killing two people. Troopers say one of the four occupants died at the scene, and the driver was pronounced dead at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. The other two passengers were treated and released.

Killed in the crash were Edward Fowler, 20, of Franklin, who was the driver, and Brittany Poors, 16, of Ellsworth, who was a passenger in his vehicle. Police say it appears none of the occupants was wearing a seat belt.

BALDWIN

Sheriff's office seeks help finding missing man

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in locating a Baldwin man.

David Buckley, 29, was last seen on Route 202 near Hollis. He was reported missing by his mother on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Buckley has a medical condition that could leave him vulnerable to exploitation, the sheriff's office said.

Buckley has left home before and was found at the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland, the release said.

Buckley is described as a white man, 5-feet-7-inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, who now wears a beard and a mustache. He has a surgery scar on his chest. He was last seen wearing a dark T-shirt, dark jeans and sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 774-1444 or email thorpe@cumberlandcounty.org

AUGUSTA

LePage swears in pair of new district judges

A lawyer who served as tribal prosecutor for the Passamaquoddy Tribal Court in Pleasant Point and Indian Township has been sworn in as a Maine judge.

Gov. Paul LePage presided over the ceremony for Calais resident David J. Mitchell, who'll serve as District Court judge. Judge John V. Romei also was sworn into service as an active retired District Court judge.

LePage said his focus in choosing judges is on "qualifications, demeanor, and integrity of the candidates, not politics."

He said both Mitchell and Romei reflect those priorities. Both judges were reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary and confirmed by the full Senate.

CLIFTON

Crash victims identified as pair of Bangor residents

The victims of a weekend motorcycle crash in Clifton have been identified as Bangor residents.

Police on Monday identified the victims of the Sunday evening crash on Route 9 east as Jason Emerson, 40, and Elizabeth Gould, 36.

Authorities said the two were killed when their motorcycle hit a guardrail about 6 p.m.

A witness reported that the motorcycle was speeding and passing other vehicles when its driver lost control on a curve, went into the oncoming lane and struck the guardrail. Both riders were thrown and pronounced dead at the scene.

HARPSWELL

Charter school says it has many unsolicited resumes

A charter school that's scheduled to open this fall received more than 100 unsolicited resumes from prospective faculty members for just a handful of positions.

Harpswell Coastal Academy Head of School John D'Anieri said resumes started coming in before the school's charter application was approved in February. The contract between the school and state was signed in May.

He says it was gratifying not just to see the quantity of candidates, but also the quality. He told The Times Record that five talented people have been hired. Four are Maine residents already familiar with Maine Learning Results standards.

The school is scheduled to open in the fall with 60 students in grades 6 and 9. Eventually, it will have grades 6 through 12.

BETHEL

Sam Chapman, 60, dies in wood chipper accident

Authorities say the owner of a western Maine tree cutting company has died in a wood chipper accident.

Police say Sam Chapman, 60, of Bethel was cleaning the interior of a chipper Sunday morning when a 3-foot long, crescent-shaped metal shield came off and punctured his chest.

Police say he was lending the chipper to two people and was showing them how to operate and clean it.

Oxford County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Hart Daley told the Sun Journal that Chapman remained conscious and alert in the moments after the accident but died before a medical helicopter could fly him to a hospital.

Chapman owned Chapman's Tree Services and was also an avid golfer and a popular local songwriter and musician who often performed in the area.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Completion date expected soon for Memorial Bridge

The contractor working on the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine expects to be able to set a date for opening the bridge to traffic within the next several weeks.

The final span is in place at the bridge. Archer Western Contractors is working on balancing the weight of that 2.5-million-pound span with the weight of counterweights. The lift mechanism of the bridge is still being adjusted.

Other work that needs to be done is paving, bridge rail installation, roadway markings, installing signage and other maintenance.

The new bridge is replacing a nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine.

 

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