Man gets four-year sentence for hindering murder probe

A man from Aroostook County has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection with a triple murder two years ago.

Robert Strout of Orient was sentenced Wednesday in Aroostook County Superior Court for hindering the investigation into the murders of two men and a 10-year-old boy in Amity in June 2010.

Thayne Ormsby was convicted last month of killing 55-year-old Jeffrey Ryan, Ryan’s 10-year-old son, Jesse, and a family friend, Jason Dehahn, 30.

Ormsby lived with Strout, 64, at the time of the slayings. Prosecutors say Strout helped Ormsby dispose of evidence and drove him to New Hampshire.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Strout apologized to the victims’ families in court. His lawyer says he is in poor health and only helped Ormsby because Ormsby threatened to kill him.


Justice declines to review life sentence for murderer

A Superior Court justice has denied a petition for post-conviction review from a man serving a life sentence for murder.

Justice Thomas Warren, in a decision dated Wednesday, denied Michael Hutchinson’s sole claim that his trial counsel was ineffective for not soliciting a plea offer from the state for less than a life sentence.

Hutchinson was convicted in 2007 of the brutal murder of Crystal Perry at her Bridgton home in 1994.

The court also rejected Hutchinson’s testimony that he would have accepted a plea offer because he had always insisted he was innocent.

Warren’s decision came two days after an evidentiary hearing.

Hutchinson has 21 days to file a notice of appeal.


Couple hospitalized, treated for injuries after ATV crash

The Maine Warden Service is investigating a serious ATV crash in West Bath that critically injured the driver.

Gifford T. Campbell, 38, and his passenger, Krista Gallagher, 38, both of Bath, were injured in the crash on Hill Road just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Campbell was taken by helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with a head injury. He was in critical condition Thursday morning.

Gallagher was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of head injuries. She was in satisfactory condition Thursday morning.

Neither was wearing a helmet, according to the warden service.

Investigators will try to determine if speed and alcohol were factors in the accident. Members of the warden service’s reconstruction team will reconstruct the accident.


Official says cyclist’s helmet reduced his injuries in crash

Rescue officials say a Lebanon man was spared from more serious injuries because he was wearing a helmet when he crashed his motorcycle on Depot Road early Thursday morning.

Lebanon Rescue Assistant Chief Jason Cole said the man, who he did not identify, was found lying about 45 feet from his motorcycle when rescue crews arrived at the crash scene just after midnight.

A helicopter was called in to take the man to the hospital, but was unable to land because of heavy fog. The man was taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries.

Cole said it is unknown how long the motorcycle rider was on the ground because there were no witnesses. The man was wearing a helmet and did not have a passenger.

“There was significant damage to the operator’s helmet and with being thrown from the motorcycle, I think it is very safe to say that the helmet probably saved his life, or significantly reduced his incapacitating injuries,” Cole said. “(The) patient would have suffered more injuries if he was not wearing his helmet.”

The York County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the accident.


Legislators to return May 31 to deal with any bill vetoes

Legislative leaders have blocked off May 31 as the day the House and Senate will return to the State House to take up possible vetoes of newly passed bills.

So far, Gov. Paul LePage has not vetoed any bills that were passed in the days leading up to last week’s recess, and he has signed several others into law. Among the 19 bills remaining on LePage’s desk are five bond issues totaling nearly $96 million.

The governor has not indicated what, if any, bills he will sign or send back to the Legislature.

His 10-day window to act on most of the bills ends Monday, and for the five others it’s Tuesday.


Hannaford says all seafood is from sustainable fisheries

The Hannaford supermarket chain says all seafood sold in its 181 stores in the Northeast is now documented as sustainable.

The Scarborough-based chain says under its new policy, it documents all seafood products as coming from fisheries governed by effective, science-based management plans.

Hannaford’s George Parmenter told Maine Public Broadcasting Network that the policy has resulted in the removal of about 50 seafood products from its stores, all from overseas suppliers. He said other suppliers have improved their harvesting practices to come in line with company standards.

Besides Maine, Hannaford has stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

The policy will soon be adopted by all 1,400 U.S. stores owned by parent company Delhaize, which operates Food Lion stores in the Southeast and Sweetbay in Florida.


Obama nominates local pilot as head of U.S. Navy Reserve

A Maine woman has been nominated by President Obama to lead the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Rear Adm. Robin R. Braun of Brunswick, who is now deputy director of European Plans and Operations Center at U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said Tuesday while home on leave that she hopes to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate this summer.

If confirmed, Braun would be the first woman to serve as leader of the 65,000-member Navy Reserve.

Braun told The Times Record newspaper that she was “tremendously honored” to be nominated.

In her civilian life, she is a pilot for Federal Express. She has lived in Brunswick since 1999.


Police dog lauded for finding missing Alzheimer’s patient

A Lewiston Police Department dog is being credited with finding an 82-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.

The dog named Ailos followed a mile-long scent Wednesday and found the man lying in the grass next to a snowmobile trail. He was treated for hypothermia and returned to his home.

The Sun Journal reported that the search began about 5 a.m. when a woman called police to report that her father had wandered off during the night.

Ailos was able to pick up the missing man’s scent near his home.

The track brought the searchers to a snowmobile trail off Sabattus Street. The missing man was found in the grass about 250 feet from the road.


Rumford woman guilty of stealing aid worth $10,000

A Rumford woman has been found guilty of defrauding Maine and the U.S. government out of more than $10,000 in food stamps and health care benefits.

Amy Knowlton was found guilty Wednesday of felony theft by deception in Oxford County Superior Court. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at sentencing later in the summer.

Prosecutors say that from October 2006 to March 2009, Knowlton, 30, had access to her then-boyfriend’s money while collecting more than $18,000 in food stamps, Temporary Aid for Needy Families and MaineCare health benefits. An investigator from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services said Knowlton wouldn’t have received those benefits if she had reported her boyfriend’s income.

The Sun Journal reported that Knowlton and her now-husband say the state knew about her other source of income and blamed the Department of Health and Human Services for the error.

— From staff and news services