Brittany Irish, center, watches in 2015 as her brother Jamie, left, son Joshua, center, and father, Rick, work in the rain to remove the charred debris that once was the family’s cow barn in Benedicta. Kevin Bennett

Two women who filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Maine State Police of failing to respond to warnings and protect them from what turned into a deadly rampage in 2015 have reached a $500,000 settlement with the state.

Brittany Irish and her mother, Kimberly Irish, filed their complaint in U.S. District Court in 2017, two years after Anthony Lord shot and killed Kyle Hewitt, Brittany Irish’s boyfriend, during a crime spree that left two people dead, four injured and resulted in a massive manhunt in northern Maine.

Brittany Irish had called state police and Bangor police numerous times in the days before the shooting, saying that Lord had kidnapped and raped her and that she wanted him found and arrested. She wanted to be protected from him and said that state police failed to help her.

Anthony Lord enters a Bangor courtroom for his sentencing in 2017. Mark Rediker/WABI-TV via Associated Press

Both a U.S. District judge and a panel of federal appeals judges held that the Maine state troopers named in the lawsuit should not be protected by qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that often is used to shield law enforcement officers from civil liability. The case seemed set to go to trial, but court records show it was removed from a trial list for February due to ongoing settlement negotiations.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office said the settlement money was sent on June 15. Half of it went to Brittany Irish. Her mother received $100,000, and $150,000 went to the estate of Hewitt – the father of Brittany Irish’s two young children.

In signing the agreement on June 8,  Brittany Irish acknowledged “that this settlement is a compromise of certain disputed claims” and that the payment “is not to be construed as an admission of liability” by the state and the state police, which “expressly deny all liability for said claims and are settling said claims to avoid litigation and buy their peace.”


As part of the settlement, she also agreed to not make “public or private statements that disparage, criticize, or denigrate” the state.

Brittany and Kimberly Irish filed a motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit on June 30.

Brittany Irish with her sons Joshua, in her lap, and Benjamin in 2015, a week after Anthony Lord shot and killed their father, Kyle Hewitt. Photo by Kevin Bennett

Attorney Scott Lynch, who represents the Irish family and the estate of Kyle Hewitt, did not respond to emails and calls asking for the family’s reaction to the settlement. Assistant Attorney General Chris Taub, who represented Maine State Police, declined to discuss the settlement.

In addition to Maine State Police, the lawsuit also named officers Jason Fowler, Micah Perkins and Darrin Crane as defendants. Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss confirmed that all of the officers are still employed, and deferred to the Attorney General’s Office for any other statements on the agency’s reaction to the settlement.

According to her complaint and accounts she’s given in the past, Brittany Irish first informed the Bangor Police Department and Maine State Police that she was in danger in June 2015, telling them that Anthony Lord kidnapped from her home in Bangor and raped her. She went to police even though Lord threatened to hurt her if she told anyone.

Rick Irish, left, his grandson and son extinguish the embers of what remained of their cow barn in 2015. Photo by Kevin Bennett

Despite her entreaties, detectives didn’t find and arrest Lord. Instead, one Maine State Police detective left Lord a voicemail asking to chat. Officers did not respond to Irish’s requests for protection at her home – and a few hours after the detective left Lord the voicemail, authorities were called to a fire at the cow barn owned by Brittany Irish’s parents at their home in Benedicta in southern Aroostook County.

The next morning, Lord showed up at Irishes’ home, where he shot and killed Hewitt and wounded Kimberly Irish using firearms he had stolen from a man he had beaten up in Silver Ridge. Brittany Irish tried to escape by getting into a pickup truck that was driving by, but Lord shot and wounded the driver. He then drove Irish to a woodlot in Lee, where he fired at two employees and killed 58-year-old Kevin Tozier.

Police launched a massive manhunt to find Lord that day, and he eventually turned himself in at his uncle’s house in Houlton.

Lord pleaded guilty in 2017 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. He is serving two life sentences in state prison.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.