ROCKLAND — A 37-year-old man from Aroostook County pleaded guilty Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court to the murder of two men and the shootings of three other people two years ago.

Anthony Lord of Crystal is facing life in prison, with sentencing expected the first week in August.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin in early August before Lord, a convicted sex offender, agreed to plead guilty in the killings and shootings on July 16-17, 2015. There is no agreement on the sentence to be imposed by Justice Ann Murray.

Lord admitted to shooting and killing Kyle Hewitt, 22, and Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee. He also was accused of shooting and wounding Kim Irish, 55, of Benedicta, Clayton McCarthy, 55, and Carlton Eddy.

Lord pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, multiple counts of aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, theft of firearms, and eluding an officer. A charge of kidnapping was dismissed.

The hearing was held in Knox County because of the close proximity of Rockland to the Maine State Prison in Warren where Lord has been held pending trial.

In court Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea laid out the evidence that the state would have presented at trial. She said the series of crimes began on the evening of July 16, 2015, when Lord set fire to Kim and Richard Irish’s barn in Benedicta. Firefighters and police responded to the fire, which destroyed the barn.

Lord had reportedly become obsessed with the couple’s 21-year-old daughter, Brittany Irish.

Brittany Irish said Lord had kidnapped and raped her two days earlier, and begged police officers to stay and protect her from Lord after he set the barn on fire. Police, however, said they did not have the manpower to help her.

The next morning, Lord assaulted Kary Mayo with a hammer at the man’s Silver Ridge Township home. He wanted to tie Mayo up but couldn’t find any rope, so he put him in the basement and blocked the entrance. Lord then stole guns from the home and fled in a vehicle at the residence, Zainea said.

Soon after, Lord burst into the Irish home and shot Hewitt, Brittany Irish’s boyfriend, eight times with a .22 caliber revolver he had stolen from the Mayo residence.

Kim Irish rushed her daughter into the bathroom and helped her escape out a window. Lord broke into the bathroom and Kim Irish pleaded with Lord not to harm her daughter. Lord shot Kim Irish in the arm as she tried to block her daughter from being shot.

The prosecutor said Eddy was driving by the Irish home when Brittany Irish ran out to the road and jumped into the bed of his pickup truck, followed almost immediately by Lord, who also jumped into the truckbed, Zainea said.

Lord then shot Eddy three to four times in the neck and back. Irish jumped out of the truck and Lord followed her and got her back in the truck.

Shortly before 6 a.m., an East Millinocket police officer spotted the stolen vehicle being driven by Lord and tried to pull it over, but Lord sped off. As the officer chased the stolen vehicle, Lord started shooting out his window at the officer. The officer was not injured, but lost track of the pickup, Zainea said.

Later that morning, McCarthy and Tozier were at a wood lot in Lee when Lord and Irish arrived in the truck. When the men inquired about Irish’s injuries, Lord pulled out the gun and shot Tozier four times. As he was reloading, McCarthy ran into the woods. Lord shot at McCarthy twice, striking him once in the buttocks.

Lord then took Irish to a series of camps before he went to his uncle’s house in Houlton. After learning from a relative that Lord was at the uncle’s house, police arrested him and freed Irish without incident at 2 p.m. on July 17.

Lord, who has a lengthy criminal history dating to 1999, spoke a few times Wednesday during the court hearing, disagreeing with minor details of the prosecution’s case but otherwise agreeing with the evidence.

The case drew attention to staffing levels in a rural part of the state where four state troopers at a time patrol a geographical area the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. State police – and Bangor police, in whose jurisdiction the original alleged abduction occurred – have not answered questions about their response to Brittany Irish’s allegations of sexual assault, saying they were barred from commenting because of the Maine attorney general’s ongoing murder case against Lord.

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