One man killed, another injured in head-on crash

One man was killed and another was severely injured in a head-on collision Monday night on Route 196 in Topsham, police said.

The driver of a Ford Ranger pickup truck, Richard K. Wright, 71, of Topsham, was going east when he crossed the centerline and collided with a Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Howard Wilson, 70, of Lisbon, who was going west toward Lisbon at 8:30 p.m., according to a police statement.

Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.

Just before the crash, the Ranger had swerved into oncoming traffic and hit another car a mile west of the crash site, but nobody was injured, police said.

Wilson was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


‘Career offender’ gets 12 years for heroin trafficking

A New York City man described by authorities as a “career offender” was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to serve more than 12 years in prison for trafficking heroin in Topsham in 2012.

Roger Burke, 31, was sentenced by Judge D. Brock Hornby to serve 151 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Burke was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Briana Frazier, 23, of Yarmouth, when they were stopped by federal agents on Oct. 17, 2012, in Topsham. Frazier had 700 bags of heroin on her, which Burke admitted belonged to him. An unnamed defendant from another case who worked with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration had arranged to buy the heroin from Burke as part of a sting, according to court records.

Both Burke and Frazier were indicted by a federal grand jury in April, but the case against Frazier never progressed beyond the indictment, according to their case files. Burke pleaded guilty in August to a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

This was Burke’s third drug trafficking conviction, making him subject to increased prison terms under federal sentencing guidelines, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Neighbor says woman in killing case admitted attack

A woman on trial for using pliers, a box cutter and a plastic baseball bat to kill her husband acknowledged to a neighbor that she smashed his motorcycle with an ax and attacked him with the bat because she was angry that he’d been calling another woman.

The neighbor, Kasey Ramisch, testified Tuesday that there was so much noise coming from defendant Roxanne Jeskey’s home on the night of the killing, June 12, 2011, that she called to see if everything was OK.

That led to a series of short conversations including one in which Jeskey first said “everything is fine” and then admitted using a bat to bloody Richard Jeskey’s nose and knock out a tooth, WZON-AM reported.

Ramisch said she was told, “I promise you he’s OK. He’s taking a bath.”

Roxanne Jeskey, who has invoked an insanity defense, is accused of killing her husband in a jealous rage. His body, which was naked, was found in a bathtub the following day. The medical examiner said he was beaten and strangled.

Also Tuesday, prosecutors played a voicemail left by Richard Jeskey on the other woman’s phone on the night he died. On the recording, his voice was unintelligible and his breathing was labored.

The woman, Melanie Ryan, testified that Jeskey told him that his wife would kill him if she found out that they had been talking. The defense objected to the remark.

The trial is expected to continue through the week. Testimony at the Penobscot Judicial Center was being heard by a judge, not a jury, at the defendant’s request.


Otis man dies when truck collides with tractor-trailer

An Otis man was killed when his pickup truck collided Monday with a tractor-trailer in Clifton, authorities said.

Steven Andrews, 64, died in the crash, police said. His wife, Nancy Otis, 62, was hospitalized in serious condition. The tractor-trailer driver, Jonathan Hichborn, 36, of Orland, suffered a head injury.

The accident happened on Route 180 on Monday afternoon, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Fitch told WZON radio. He said the tractor-trailer lost control on the slick road, striking the pickup truck.


Mother of missing toddler again asks for support

The mother of a missing toddler again asked supporters on Tuesday, the second anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance, to demand answers from law enforcement officials.

Trista Reynolds and her family issued a statement this month saying they “cannot truly know the peace of Christmas” while her daughter, Ayla Reynolds, remains missing and no one has been brought to justice. “To honor Ayla this December, we ask that you press for justice,” the family said.

The 22-month-old was reported missing on Dec. 17, 2011, from the Waterville home where her father, Justin DiPietro, lived with his mother. DiPietro told police he last saw his daughter when he put her to bed the night before.

The toddler’s disappearance set off a massive search that transformed into the biggest criminal investigation in Maine history. Police believe Ayla was a victim of foul play and that she is no longer alive. Police have also said the father and two adults were in the home know more than what they’ve told investigators. DiPietro couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

The investigation remains active with a team of detectives meeting nearly daily, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

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