Courts and Crime

LEWISTON, Maine — Police moved quickly to make an arrest in a weekend convenience store robbery in Lewiston.

Police say 31-year-old Jacob Koch of Lewiston was arrested in connection with the robbery at Lewiston Variety at about 9 p.m. Sunday. He's charged with robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ A former Maine man has been convicted of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff in disputes over an affair and inheritance money.
    The couple, Charles and Lisa Black, had moved from Kansas to retire in coastal Maine. On the day of the fall in 2011, they'd argued about how he spent money from a $4 million inheritance from her father and over an affair he had.
    Prosecutors say 71-year-old Charles Black hit his wife with a rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff. Both tumbled down the mountainside.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine jury is deliberating the fate of a man accused of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff.
    Authorities say Charles Black hit 55-year-old Lisa Zahn with the rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden in 2011. Both survived after tumbling 800 feet down the mountainside.
    Prosecutors say Black and Zahn were having a dispute over how Black spent some of Zahn's inheritance.

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) _ A federal appeals court is set to hear the case of a Maine resident serving 30 years in prison for transporting a 13-year-old Owensboro girl across state lines to engage in sexual activity.
    The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has scheduled arguments for Aug. 5 in the case of 47-year-old Archie Whalen of Hancock County, Maine.
    A jury in Kentucky convicted Whalen in 2012 of taking the girl in 2009 from her home in Owensboro to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The girl was found a day after an Amber Alert was issued.

BELFAST, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man charged with killing a woman and seriously injuring her son has withdrawn his insanity defense and pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors.
    Under the deal, prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 50 years for Todd Gilday of Belfast. WZON-AM reported that Gilday pleaded guilty Monday to murder, attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ The trial of a former Maine man charged with bashing his wife with a rock and pushing her off a cliff in Camden Hills State Park is winding down in a courtroom in Rockland.
    Closing arguments were planned Monday in the trial of 71-year-old Charles Black, who's charged with attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault and three counts of aggravated assault.

LEWISTON, Maine — Police in Lewiston are investigating a reported armed robbery at a city convenience store.

The Sun Journal reports that the robbery at Lewiston Variety on College Street was reported at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

Police were questioning the lone employee on duty at the time.

No other details were immediately available.

The same store was robbed in April. A 28-year-old Livermore Falls man has been arrested in connection with that robbery.

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) _ State Police say a New York City man fired the shots that killed two men in Biddeford, Maine.
    Investigators said Friday that 34-year-old Fuquan Prince Wilson from the Bronx has a lengthy criminal record. They also said the shooting was drug related, and asked the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to join the investigation.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Prosecutors are continuing to present their case in the trial of a man accused of pushing his then-wife off a cliff in a Maine state park.

Charles Black is charged with attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault and three counts of aggravated assault. Police say Black hit Lisa Zahn in the head with a rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden Hills State Park in 2011. Black is a former Camden, Maine, resident who now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

NEWCASTLE, Maine — A Maine-based artist whose paintings are galleries nationwide faces child pornography charges.

Police say 58-year-old Robert Ransley of Newcastle was arrested at his home Wednesday and charged with possessing sexually explicit material of someone under the age of 12, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

He has posted $1,000 bail.

Police say his computer was seized earlier this month and an analysis showed thousands of images of child porn. None of the images are believed to be from Maine.

MERRILL, Maine (AP) _ A man has been found and arrested nearly a week since police found a meth lab inside his house in the town of Merrill, Maine.
    Police have charged 38-year-old Micah Lawlor with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine. He and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Jessica Tremblay of Merrill, are both charged with burglary, theft and criminal trespass. They were arrested Tuesday at a remote camp in Merrill.
    Both have been taken to the Aroostook County Jail. It wasn't immediately known if they had lawyers.


PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on crack cocaine trafficking charges.

U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said that Abdullahi Nur was sentenced in the U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney's office says that the 26-year-old regularly brought crack cocaine from Boston to the Portland area, where he distributed it. Drugs were seized during two traffic stops in 2011 in which Nur was involved.

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine woman who police say was pushed off a cliff by her then-husband says their marriage was happy at first, but took a dark turn after they moved from Kansas to Maine.

WABI-TV reports Lisa Zahn, formerly Lisa Black, took the stand Wednesday in Rockland in the trial of Charles Black. He faces charges including attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault and three counts of aggravated assault. Prosecutors say Black hit Zahn on the head with a rock before pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden Hills State Park in 2011.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A New Sharon teen has been indicted by a Franklin County grand jury for allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of cash and jewelry from a Wilton home.

Eighteen-year-old Brian Durrell was indicted this week on charges of burglary and theft following his arrest in May.

Police Chief Heidi Wilcox tells the Sun Journal a juvenile has also been arrested.

The homeowners reported the loss April 30 after returning from vacation.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Gardiner man charged with killing and dismembering his father has been ruled incompetent to stand trial and will remain in a state psychiatric facility.

Leroy Smith III was scheduled to be arraigned on a murder charge Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court in connection with the May death of 56-year-old Leroy Smith Jr. inside the apartment they shared.

But his defense attorneys asked a judge to postpone the hearing and their motion was unopposed by prosecutors.

He is being held at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.