Courts and Crime

RUMFORD, Maine — A more than seven-hour police standoff in Rumford has ended peacefully.

Chief Stacy Carter says the standoff ended at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday without shots being fired.

It started at about 9 p.m. Monday when police responded to a home in the area of Route 2 and Andover Street in Rumford for reports of man on the porch, waving a gun and making threats when people approached him.

A woman was evacuated from the home, but Carter said it does not appear to be a case of domestic violence.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Boston man has been found guilty in a Maine court of transporting women for prostitution.

Twenty-eight-year-old Fritz Blanchard was convicted on Thursday after a four-day jury trial in Portland.

Officials say that Blanchard and Samuel Gravely drove three Maine women from Portland to Boston with the intention of having them work as prostitutes there. They say that Blanchard taught two of the women how to attract customers on the street.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A 17-year-old girl will spend 10 days in a juvenile corrections center as punishment for causing a crash that killed another teenager in Bucksport in October.

WABI-TV reports the girl will also perform community service and cannot drive for five years. Police charged the girl earlier this year with manslaughter and aggravated driving to endanger. She was tried as a juvenile. Her sentencing took place Friday at an Ellsworth court.

AUBURN, Maine — A former Auburn city councilor who also once published a local magazine and organized a community film festival has appeared in court for the first time since being charged with possessing child pornography.

Joshua Shea was arrested in March and was freed on bail.

Shea's attorney, David Van Dyke, told the Sun Journal after his client's appearance Thursday at Androscoggin County Superior Court that Shea had been in a course of counseling since April at an intensive, out-of-state residential facility.

BANGOR, Maine — An Old Town man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing a pair of bank robberies that netted him more than $17,000.

Troy Gay was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty earlier this month to robbing the Camden National Bank in Corinth in March and the Bangor Savings Bank in Orono in April.

He was also ordered to pay full restitution.

Prosecutors say the 26-year-old Gay had a drug dependency at the time of the robberies.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former assistant coach for the Portland Pirates minor league hockey team has been sentenced to two months in jail after pleading no contest to a charge of sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old girl.

Michael Minard was sentenced Wednesday in Waldo County Superior Court and ordered to pay the girl $560.

Prosecutors say the 37-year-old Minard met the girl at a game in Lewiston last season when her family sat behind the Pirates' bench.

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont man is facing federal charges he possessed a number of tractors and trucks that were stolen over a 12-year period from Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Maine.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 49-year-old James Moorcroft of Brookfield pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Moorcroft orchestrated the theft of six trucks and two farm tractors that he brought to the Brookfield farm where he lives and then used them after removing the vehicle identification numbers.

BANGOR, Maine — A judge in Bangor is rejecting a plea deal from an Orono man who faces more than 100 charges of sex crimes against children.

WZON-AM reports the state's case against Wyatt Higgins-Tripp will instead go to trial at an unspecified date. Prosecutors offered a plea agreement of 25 years with all but 10 years suspended. Justice William Anderson rejected that agreement on the grounds that it was not harsh enough.

PORTLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire woman charged with stealing $750,000 from her Maine-based employer has appeared in federal court in Portland.

Janis Woods of Conway, New Hampshire, a former bookkeeper at a drilling business in the town of Norway, was in court Wednesday to face a bank fraud charge. She did not enter a plea.

FALMOUTH, Maine -- A sixty-three-year-old attorney was arrested at his home in Falmouth this morning by the State Police Computer Crimes Unit and charged with possessing child pornography.

Maine Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland says Lawrence Winger's computer was seized earlier this month after authorities got a tip. "His computer was reviewed by the unit in the last couple of weeks and dozens of images of child porn was found on it," McCausland says.

Authorities don't believe any of the images are of children from Maine.

STRATTON, Maine (AP) _ The Franklin County Sheriff's Department says a Maine mom burned her 4-year-old daughter with a wood-engraving tool as punishment.

Detectives charged 39-year-old Jessica LaPlante of Stratton with assault after an investigation that started when the girl's father filed a complaint with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Investigators said the girl told her father her mother burned her for "being bad.''

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine man who collected unemployment benefits while behind bars is going back to prison.

Joshua Harwood was sentenced to serve 30 days of a 2 {-year prison term after he was convicted of theft by deception for fraudulently receiving thousands of dollars in unemployment insurance payments while he was incarcerated for a prior conviction.

The 35-year-old Harwood, of Georgetown, was also ordered to pay more than $9,000 in restitution, which includes interest and penalties.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The trial of a Sidney man charged with sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl he was baby-sitting has started.

Eric Bard has pleaded not guilty to 21 charges including rape and sexual exploitation in connection with alleged assaults in 2011 and 2012 that prosecutors say he recorded with a cellphone.

The prosecutor and the defense attorney both warned jurors in opening statements Tuesday that they would see disturbing images.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Police in South Portland have arrested three teenagers in connection with a burglary spree in the city.

There have been about 30 burglaries in private homes in South Portland in the past two months, some during daylight hours and at least one when the homeowner was home and asleep. The teens arrested Tuesday are thought to be responsible for many, but not necessarily all of them.

The suspects, all either 16 or 17 years old, are under house arrest after being charged with theft or burglary. Their names were not released because of their age.

PORTLAND, Maine — Two Maine teenagers have been sentenced to 100 hours of community service each after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges alleging they put an 8-week-old kitten in a microwave and turned it on.

The South Portland girls, who were 15 when they were charged last September, initially entered the juvenile equivalent of an adult not guilty plea in May and were ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.

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