Courts and Crime

The gun shots that killed a man involved in a standoff Sunday night with police in the Maine town of Mexico were not self-inflicted. That's according to the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials say an autopsy of Steven Piirainen, 52, of South Paris, showed that he died of gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.  Piirainen died in an exchange of gunfire after he allegedly stole a pickup truck in Paris, and then led police on a chase that ended at a convenience store in Mexico.  

BELFAST, Maine (AP) _ The husband of a woman shot to death in Belfast has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator, who's due to be sentenced Wednesday.

Todd Gilday pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder in the killing 55-year-old Lynn Arsenault and wounding of her 22-year-old son, Mathew Day. Under a plea deal, prosecutors are recommending a 50-year sentence.

James O'Connell, a lawyer for Donald Arsenault Jr. of Garland, said the civil lawsuit does not seek any specific damages.

MADISON, Maine (AP) _ A man reporting for a 48-hour jail sentence in Maine put some thought into his attire, wearing an orange T-shirt with his mug shot on it.

Robert Edward Burt of Pittsfield was arrested on a charge of operating under the influence in June and bailed out. He was later sentenced to 48 hours in jail.

BANGOR, Maine — The former deputy postmaster at the East Vassalboro Post Office has pleaded guilty to stealing mail and embezzling postal money orders.

The Morning Sentinel reports that Jason Stockmar, of Augusta, was freed on bail Monday after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor. He will be sentenced at a later date.

SURRY, Maine — A Surry man authorities say was driving when his car rolled over and killed a passenger three years ago will go to trial after a judge rejected his plea deal.

Steven Moon is charged with manslaughter in connection with the May 2011 crash that took the life of Caleb Foster of Stonington.

The 22-year-old Moon and the Hancock County district attorney's office had reached a plea deal in which Moon pleaded no contest and would serve two years in jail and four years of probation.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A patient at the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta is facing an aggravated assault charge after allegedly using a chair to attack his nurse.

Police say 23-year-old Frank Stewart became angry with staff on Saturday evening in a dispute over an aluminum plate.

The nurse suffered swelling and a laceration on the left side of her face and a black eye.

Police say it did not appear that Stewart was delusional or suffering from severe mental illness during the attack.

PORTLAND, Maine - War-zone-like images of Ferguson, Missouri - where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was recently shot to death by a white police officer - are raising questions about the militarization of police. As violent protests have erupted, police armed in tactical gear have deployed military style vehicles and weapons to disperse crowds. Police departments across the country, including here in Maine, have obtained excess military vehicles since the 1990s. Now, some members of Congress are calling for an end to the practice.

BANGOR, Maine — Police say a Bangor man is charged with assaulting a woman and leaving her with serious head injuries.

WABI-TV reports that officers were called to an apartment complex on Essex Street early Monday morning.

The woman was taken to the hospital.

Police say 34-year old Joshua Cole was taken into custody and charged with elevated aggravated assault.

Police say they'll release more information later in the day.

CHINA, Maine — Members of a 200-year-old church in China have been angered and saddened by vandalism to church property.

Parishioners at the China Baptist Church arriving for services Sunday morning found that the lawn of the church's park on China Lake had been torn up by a vehicle, leaving muddy ruts, stripped of grass.

The small park, across from the church, is a popular place for children and families to swim and picnic. The church owns the land but allows the general public to use the park.

The church, founded in 1801, also holds baptisms at the park.

YARMOUTH, Maine — A woman who says she suffered a third-degree burn from a heated seat in Chevrolet Suburban has sued General Motors.

Emma Verrill says in her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland that GM failed to adequately test the rear seat heaters to prevent them from reaching "dangerously high temperatures that would burn human flesh."

Verrill is paralyzed from the waist down and can't feel hot and cold in her lower body.

MEXICO, Maine — A man who stole a pickup truck in Paris and led police on a chase that ended at a convenience store in Mexico has died after an exchange of gunfire with police.

A Maine State Police spokesman says the suspect was found dead in the vehicle outside the Circle K store and gas station just before 11 p.m. Sunday.

The man exchanged gunfire with a state trooper and a Mexico officer, but it was not immediately clear if the man was shot by police or if he shot himself. No officers were hurt.

The man's name was not immediately made public.

BELFAST, Maine — A 44-year-old Maine man who pleaded guilty to killing a woman and seriously wounding her son in a late-night attack at the woman's Belfast home is due to be sentenced this week.

Under a plea deal, prosecutors are recommending a 50-year sentence for Todd Gilday of Belfast. He originally intended to use an insanity defense but pleaded guilty last month to murder, attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.

The sentence hearing is set for Wednesday.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A high school music teacher charged with threatening to kill his girlfriend and choking her until she passed out has been freed on $10,000 bail.

Andrew Maderios of Pittsfield made his initial court appearance this week to face eight charges, including three felony counts of aggravated assault. He did not enter a plea.

Prosecutors say given the seriousness of the case, they asked for $25,000 bail.

The 28-year-old Maderios has been placed on leave from his job at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport pending the outcome.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — Authorities have been unable to find a Maine woman and her 12-year-old daughter who are being sued in connection with the 2012 death of a 3-month-old baby.

The woman's daughter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway. The mother was babysitting Brooklyn at the time.

Brooklyn's mother, Nicole Greenaway, filed a negligence lawsuit against the woman, who was never charged.

PORTLAND, Maine — A husband and wife from Kennebunk who told authorities they did not live together so the wife could continue to collect welfare benefits have pleaded guilty to welfare fraud charges.

Carol Welch pleaded guilty Thursday in in U.S. District Court in Portland guilty to Social Security fraud and theft of federal funds. Her husband, Scott Welch, pleaded guilty to making a false statement.

Pages