Yarmouth man pleads guilty to possession of child porn

A Yarmouth man who police discovered had kept sexually explicit photos of two minor girls he knew on his phone and computer pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to possession of child pornography.

Ronald Grant Thurston III, 24, was arrested by South Portland police in January on a charge of gross sexual assault of a minor. As police investigated, they searched his home Jan. 18 to obtain his cellphone, his computer and other electronic devices, according to court records.

Thurston had explicit photos of a 15-year-old girl, whom he had sex with on the day he met her, in multiple locations on multiple devices and others of a 13-year-old girl he had been “dating,” according to court records.

Thurston faced the child pornography charge before Judge George Singal in federal court. The gross sexual assault charge was brought against him in state court.

Thurston is scheduled for sentencing in the child pornography case on Oct. 22. He faces as much as 10 years in prison.


Retired DEP worker cleared of tampering with records

A former hazardous-materials cleanup specialist for the state has been cleared of a charge of tampering with public records.

Jon P. Andrews, 58, of Augusta completed the terms of a five-month deferred disposition from Kennebec County Superior Court, which included making a $3,500 donation to the Maine Coastal & Inland Surface Oil Cleanup.

Andrews, who retired March 6, 2012, from the state Department of Environmental Protection, destroyed his notes, but didn’t think it was wrong, his attorney, Walter McKee, said in February at Andrews’ previous court hearing.

At that time, Andrews entered an Alford plea of guilty, meaning he believed a jury could find him guilty but not that it would, according to McKee. The sentencing was deferred for five months and the charge was dismissed July 9.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, said Andrews destroyed or tampered with 265 reports the day he retired as “a parting shot at the department he had had a difficult relationship with.”

Andrews worked for the state since 1989 and in October 2011, lost an appeal to have his state job reclassified to a higher level. He also sued his supervisors in 1995.

Special election will be held Aug. 27 to fill Goodall’s seat

Voters will soon decide who will fill the state Senate seat left open by the former Democratic leader.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Monday that the special election in Senate District 19 will be held Aug. 27.

The election is needed because Democratic Sen. Seth Goodall of Richmond resigned last week to serve as New England regional administrator of the Small Business Administration.

District 19 covers Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden.

The Sagadahoc and Lincoln County Democratic, Green Independent and Republican committees will have until 5 p.m. July 30 to file a nomination for the ballot with the secretary of state.

Voters can now request absentee ballots from their municipal clerk.


Single-car accident on 1-295 closes northbound lanes

A single-car crash shut down northbound Interstate 295 near Exit 24 on Monday morning.

The accident was reported to Maine State Police at 9:45 a.m., a dispatcher said, and both northbound lanes were closed before one lane was reopened.

Witnesses told police that the 2010 Toyota appeared to drift into the breakdown lane and then into the grass, where it hit a rock and rolled over before hitting a section of ledge.

The driver, a 53-year-old Brunswick man, had to be extricated by firefighters.

A LifeFlight helicopter was summoned, but when it arrived the crew determined that the 6-foot-1, 315-pound man might exceed the aircraft’s load rating.

Instead, the helicopter’s critical care staff rode with the man, who had serious injuries, in an ambulance to Maine Medical Center, Maine State Police said.

The interstate was reopened at 11 a.m.


State police identify man who drowned in Saco River

New Hampshire State Police have identified a Connecticut man who drowned in the Saco River in North Conway.

Police say three people had jumped more than 30 feet from a railroad trestle into the river to swim on Saturday afternoon when one of them did not resurface.

Police say about 15 minutes later, Edward Foster, 30, of Gales Ferry, Conn., was recovered from the water, about 600 feet from the trestle. Police say CPR was performed on him and he was taken from the Saco River Campground to Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where he was pronounced dead.

North Conway Fire Chief Pat Preece told WMWV radio that the trestle, just downstream from the North Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant, was difficult to access. He said the river was above its normal level for this time of year and that the three men had jumped into water that was about 8 feet deep.

Preece said he didn’t think people usually jump off the trestle.


Motorcyclist killed in crash with gas truck on Route 16

Officials are investigating a crash that killed a Massachusetts man when his motorcycle slid into the path of a propane truck in western Maine.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said a group of four or five motorcycles was travelling on Route 16 in Lang Township near Rangeley around noon Monday when Michael Rezendes, 42, of Billerica lost control while going around a corner and slid into the oncoming truck.

Nichols told the Sun Journal that the truck driver couldn’t avoid the motorcycle, and that Rezendes was killed instantly.


Chesterville man sentenced for firing buckshot at truck

A Chesterville man has been sentenced to serve one year of a five-year sentence and two years of probation for shooting buckshot at a truck leaving his home.

Dennis Meaney pleaded guilty last week to reckless conduct and two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence criminal threatening and domestic violence assault in Franklin County Superior Court.

Prosecutors said he fired buckshot into the rear of a pickup truck leaving his property in January as the truck pulled away after dropping off a relative. Buckshot lodged in the dashboard and tailgate and cracked the windshield.

The Sun Journal reported that Meaney, 26, was also ordered to pay $1,000 restitution for damage to the pickup.

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