Mercy Hospital produces documents for trial defense

Mercy Hospital produced documents Thursday for the defense in Ernest Weidul’s manslaughter trial.

The state supreme court Wednesday dismissed the hospital’s appeal of the trial judge’s order to produce records from reviews of the death of the alleged victim.

Weidul, 52, is charged in the 2010 death of Roger Downs Jr. He is accused of recklessly or with criminal negligence causing Downs’ death, after the two downed a half-gallon of coffee brandy, then got another bottle and drank that.

The prosecution is arguing that Downs died from a closing of his airways arising from injuries inflicted by Weidul. Weidul’s legal team argues that Downs died from a type of pneumonia.

Mercy Hospital did not diagnose or treat Downs for pneumonia. The reviews were triggered because Downs’ death may have been unanticipated.

The hospital argued that the defense had access to the same records that the reviewers used in their evaluation but did not need the opinions of the reviewers.

Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler reviewed the documents Thursday and determined that some will be provided to the defense and that others will remain sealed.


Maine suspect charged with murder in drug dispute

A Maine man accused of shooting a Florida firefighter in the head in a drug-related dispute has been indicted on murder charges.

The indictment was handed up this week by a grand jury in Waldo County. Daniel Porter was already being held without bail on a murder charge.

Porter was arrested Feb. 28 at a rented house in Jackson where police say he killed 31-year-old Jerry Perdomo of Orange City, Fla. Porter told police that he owed Perdomo $3,000 and police said threats were exchanged.

The Bangor Daily News said police arrested Porter after discovering skull fragments and blood drops in the Jackson home. Perdomo’s body was found the next day on property belonging to Porter’s family in Newburgh.


State police welcome help with killing investigation

The Maine Department of Public Safety says it welcomes outside help in the 1980 killing of Joyce McLain, in response to an online petition asking the FBI to take over the investigation.

More than 1,000 people signed up within 24 hours of the online petition being created by the victim’s mother, Pamela McLain. The petition asks Maine Attorney General William Schneider to release the case files so the FBI can investigate the killing nearly 32 years ago.

Spokesman Steve McCausland said Maine State Police sympathize with family members but told the Bangor Daily News the passing of time has not weakened state police resolve.

Joyce McLain was a 16-year-old high school sophomore in East Millinocket when she was killed while jogging. The FBI said previously it would get involved only if it had jurisdiction.


Maine driver fleeing police crashes, leaves drugs behind

A driver fleeing police in Saco early Thursday crashed the vehicle and ran, leaving behind a suitcase with marijuana, hashish and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Officer Rachel Horning started following a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon on Elm Street about 12:30 a.m. because it was speeding. The driver stopped briefly but then sped off, Saco Police Chief Rod Paul said.

The car drove off so fast that Horning followed but did not try to keep up with the car, Paul said. A short distance away, on Bradley Street, Horning saw that the car had crashed into a utility pole and caught fire.

Police searched the car and found the suitcase with what officers described as a large amount of drugs. A Maine State Police tracking dog was brought in but it was rainy and the dog was unable to track the suspect, Paul said.

The car was registered to a 24-year-old man who lives a quarter-mile from where the car crashed, Paul said. Police have not been able to find him.

The man seen running from the crash did not appear to be injured, Paul said. The case remains under investigation.


Sexton concert completes L.L. Bean summer schedule

L.L. Bean completed its summer concert schedule Thursday by announcing that Martin Sexton will perform at the retailer’s Discovery Park at 7:30 p.m. July 21.

Like all the “Summer in the Park” shows, the Sexton concert is free. Other outdoor concerts scheduled for L.L. Bean this summer were announced earlier this week and include Jo Dee Messina on July 4, Chris Isaak on July 7, Carolina Chocolate Drops on Aug. 4, Chatham County Line on Aug. 18, and Suzy Bogguss on Sept. 1.

For a list of all L.L. Bean’s summer events, go to www.llbean.com/summer


Colby College students face alcohol-related charges

Nineteen Colby College students have been summoned to court to face alcohol-related charges in connection with a midweek off-campus party.

Police said they responded to a complaint from a neighbor about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers spoke with the two Colby students from Massachusetts who rent the house. Constance Jangro of Reading, Mass., and Lauren Zion of Beverly, Mass., were charged with furnishing a place for minors to drink alcohol.

The Morning Sentinel reported that 17 other students at the house were summoned on charges of possession of liquor by a minor.

All are scheduled to appear in Waterville District Court on Aug. 7.


Jail stops accepting inmates from other Maine counties

The Somerset County Jail has stopped accepting inmates from other counties because of an ongoing battle with the state about the cost of housing them.

Administrator Maj. David Allen said the jail will continue to swap prisoners with other counties for security reasons and will take federal inmates at $93 a day, but that’s it.

He told the Kennebec Journal that the state system was using bed space at a reduced rate — about $22 per day — while county residents were paying premium rates for their own inmates.

Sheriff Barry DeLong said it costs Somerset County $272 per day to house, feed and pay medical bills for an inmate.

There are now 125 inmates at the jail, down from about 190 a month or so ago.


Yarmouth Historical Society to break ground for center

The Yarmouth Historical Society will break ground for the new Yarmouth History Center at 11 a.m. today.

The society has hired TPD Construction of Sanford to convert and expand the former Yarmouth Water District headquarters at 118 East Elm St.

Located beside the Royal River, the center will feature a gallery, office space, archives room and gathering space for educational programs.

The $1 million project was made possible by substantial gifts from Leon Gorman of Yarmouth and Jim Gorman of Cumberland. Their mother, the late Barbara Bean Gorman, daughter of L.L. Bean’s founder, helped to start the society.

The center is scheduled to be completed by November.

MPBN gets five nominations for New England Emmys

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has garnered five nominations from the 35th Boston/New England Emmy Awards.

Three of the nominations were for programs created by MPBN staff, including a nomination in the Outstanding Education/Schools category for a piece on international student recruitment that appeared on Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks.

The science program “Sustainable Maine” was nominated for two shows, “Desperate Alewives” in the Outstanding Environmental Program category and “The Triple Bottom Line” in the category called Outstanding Societal Concerns.

The documentary “There is My Home: Somali Bantu Farmers of Lewiston, Maine,” produced by Amy Brown of Lanes Island Productions and aired as part of the station’s Community Films series, was nominated for Outstanding Documentary.

Producer Marilyn Taylor and director Dave Wilkinson were nominated in the Outstanding Arts/Entertainment Program category for “Incredible Maine-Granite Tamer.”

— From staff and news services