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Courts and Crime

Woman Blames Police for Failing to Protect Family in Aroostook County Crime Rampage

BENEDICTA, Maine - The woman allegedly abducted by murder suspect Anthony Lord last week, as he went on a rampage that left two men dead, says the Maine State Police are partially to blame for what happened. Twenty-one-year-old Brittany Irish went before the cameras today to explain what she says was the motive for Lord's crimes.

Speaking in front of the charred ruins of her parents' barn in Benedicta Township, Brittany Irish says the whole string of events began on Tuesday, July 14, when 35-year-old Anthony Lord allegedly brought her to a remote cabin in Aroostook County, strangled her with a seat belt and raped her. She says she was able to convince Lord to let her go the next day, by promising she would not go to police.

After seeking treatment at a hospital in Bangor, Irish says she was directed by the Bangor Police Department to go to the Maine State Police in Houlton, where she says she filed a complaint. From there, Irish says, things took a turn.

"And that's when they had decided to give him a phone call and let him know that a case was reported. And two hours later, my mom's barn is burning down," Irish said.

That was the night of July 16. Irish says she suspected that Lord was behind the barn burning. She says that she and boyfriend, 22-year-old Kyle Hewitt, then went to her parents' home to see that they were all right, but she says they didn't feel safe.

"I had asked the state police three times to make sure someone was here with us and they didn't do this," Irish said tearfully. "This all could have been avoided if they had left a state trooper at this house. And they didn't want to do that because supposedly they didn't have the man power."

Hours later, she says Lord was shooting his way into the home, where a bullet grazed her arm. Hewitt was killed, and her mother shot and wounded. What followed was a trail of destruction that spanned across three towns, and would leave another man dead, before ending the next day in Houlton.

According to Irish, she met Lord just over four years ago through a friend. At the time, she says she was not aware of Lord's criminal history, which includes sex offenses. When she learned about those, she says she took out a protection order against him in 2011.

Irish's parents previously told The Associated Press that Lord had been obsessed with Irish for years. In the same interview, the couple said that Irish and Lord had renewed their acquaintance this year following the death of Lord's six-month-old so - a case that's currently under investigation - and following a miscarriage for Irish.

Calls to the Bangor Police Department were not returned by airtime. In a statement, the Maine State Police acknowledged that troopers were indeed investigating Irish's allegations of sexual assault last week. "In the aftermath of many major incidents, State Police typically conduct a review of our response and we will do so in this case," the statement says.

It goes on to say that further details are not possible, as the matter is now part of the Attorney General's homicide investigation. Tim Feeley with the Maine AG's office declined to comment.

Thanks to WCSH6-TV, which contributed audio for this story, and to the Bangor Daily News, which contributed photos.