Woman gets four-year term for killing boyfriend in 2011

A Portland woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter for fatally stabbing her boyfriend in 2011.

As part of a plea deal, Lisa McDonald, 49, will serve four years in prison.

McDonald stabbed Carlos Ramos, 47, once in the chest at his apartment at 991 Forest Ave. on Nov. 28, 2011.

In the days after his death, neighbors described the couple’s relationship as marred by drinking and violence.

McDonald was arrested months after Ramos’ death, on Feb. 22, 2012, after she was indicted on the manslaughter charge. She was sent for a mental evaluation to determine her competency to proceed with the criminal case.

McDonald had been due to stand trial this month, with jury selection scheduled to begin Feb. 22.

But in a hearing in Cumberland County Unified Court on Wednesday, Justice Roland Cole gave McDonald a 15-year sentence with all but the four-year prison term suspended.


Robbery in parking lot could be latest in series

Portland police are investigating a robbery that occurred in the parking lot of One Portland Square and are trying to determine if it is connected to a series of robberies over the past month.

A 20-year-old worker at the One Portland Square office building walked to his car at 6 p.m. Tuesday and was accosted by a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a mask covering the lower half of his face.

The robber demanded cash and the man said he had none but might have change in his car, police said. The man rummaged around in his car looking for change but had little, prompting the attacker to punch him in the face, police said. The attacker then fled.

Police are trying to determine if the crime is related to an ATM holdup at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Two Portland Square in which an attacker with a similar description forced a woman to withdraw money.

They also are exploring whether it is related to a series of purse snatchings and attempts in the past month, the most recent ones occurring Monday night at Casco Street and a short while later at the 550 block of Congress Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 874-8533.



While raccoon tests positive for rabies, no cause for panic

Police said Wednesday that a raccoon found off Littlefield Road tested positive for rabies, but warned residents not to panic if they see raccoons outside during the day.

Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam said a dog on Robinson Road came into contact Saturday with a raccoon that was acting aggressively. The raccoon was killed and taken to Augusta, where a lab test showed it was rabid.

It is not unusual for a raccoon to be out during the day in the winter, but residents should call police if the animal is acting aggressively toward animals or people, Putnam said.

Residents with questions or concerns are asked to call animal control officer Roberta “Bobbi” Mescavage at 646-9354.


Armed robbery of 7-Eleven remains under investigation

Police are investigating an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven at 489 Main St. in Springvale that occurred at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

A man entered the store and displayed a gun and demanded cash before fleeing, police said.

The man is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with green and gray eyes, wearing a ski mask, a purple hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, green gloves and hiking boots.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sanford police at 324-9170, extension 4.


Farmington Falls woman killed in rollover of SUV

A Farmington Falls woman died early Wednesday morning after her car crashed off Tower Road in Vienna, state police said.

Hilda Howe, 36, was killed in the crash just after midnight Tuesday and police say speed was a likely factor in the accident, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. She was alone in the vehicle.

Howe lost control of her 2003 Mercury Mountaineer and the sport utility vehicle rolled over several times, according to state trooper Diane Perkins-Vance. The SUV stopped upright against trees and Howe, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from her vehicle, according to Perkins-Vance.

Responding to the accident were Maine State Police, the Mount Vernon Rescue and the Vienna Fire Department.


Man arrested after leading police on two-county chase

Police have arrested an Auburn man who led officers on a car chase through two counties that ended in a crash.

Police said Kenneth Dunn, 27, was driving west on Route 121 at 5:40 a.m. Tuesday when he was clocked going 65 mph in a 35 zone in Minot.

When police caught up to Dunn’s car, instead of pulling over, he sped up.

The Sun Journal reported that Dunn was later spotted in Oxford driving 70 mph.

Officers eventually caught up to Dunn after he crashed into a stone wall.

He was unharmed. He was charged with eluding a police officer and criminal speed. He was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail where he was held on $1,000 cash bail.


Man sentenced to 18 months in prison for home invasion

One of three people charged with participating in a home invasion in Waterville has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Junious Liggins of Waterville pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated criminal trespass and two counts of assault. In exchange, the state dismissed three other charges, including robbery.

Liggins, 32, was sentenced to five years behind bars with all but 18 months suspended, and two years of probation. He was also fined $600.

Prosecutors said Liggins and two other people, including a 14-year-old girl, broke into an apartment in October, pushed an occupant down and held him at knife point. Police say a wallet containing $50 and a cellphone were stolen. Prosecutors said Liggins has a criminal record in three other states.


LePage: Education numbers come from U.S. Census data

Gov. Paul LePage says U.S. Census data backs up his assertion that Maine spends too much of its education budget on administration costs.

In Tuesday night’s State of the State address, LePage said Maine has the nation’s highest school administrative costs, more than twice the national average.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said the governor’s information came from the latest available census data. She said Census Bureau numbers show that 4.5 percent of Maine’s education spending in 2009-2010 went to general administration, while the average amount among states was 1.9 percent.

The Maine School Management Association’s Vicki Wallack said she had not seen the governor’s numbers.


Industry felon sentenced for possession of firearm

An Industry man has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Federal prosecutors said Paul Brackett, 40, was sentenced Tuesday to two years and nine months in prison and three years of probation.

He pleaded guilty in September.

Authorities said officers from the Maine Warden Service responded to a report of a vehicle off the road in Eustis last February.

The Sun Journal reported that wardens found Brackett nearby carrying a loaded handgun. Wardens also found a loaded AR-15 rifle in the back seat of the vehicle, and another rifle and ammunition in the trunk.

Brackett was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to two felony convictions.