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AUGUSTA — Tonia Kigas Porter was freed from state custody Friday for the first time in almost 20 years.

The 49-year-old woman had been committed to the commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services after being found not criminally responsible for murder for starving her 5-year-old daughter to death in 1993 in Bangor.

A judge in Kennebec County Superior Court ordered Porter discharged after the state, her psychiatrist and the State Forensic Service said they all supported it for Porter, who most recently was diagnosed and treated for cancer.

“She has managed those losses and difficulties with great dignity,” said Ann LeBlanc, director of the State Forensic Service.

Porter has been living in Augusta and doing volunteer work there for years and getting support from people in the community.

Justice Donald Marden asked LeBlanc what Porter’s reaction would be to seeing her photo in the newspaper.

“She’s learned one day your picture shows up on the front page and two days later, people forget about it,” LeBlanc said.

Marden said statements by those testifying on Friday convinced him that Porter has worked hard to recover.

“There’s no question Ms. Porter bears a heavy burden,” Marden said.

J. Mitchell Flick, Porter’s attorney, told the judge Porter is particularly conscientious about taking her medication and “extremely likely to succeed.”

Assistant Attorney General Laura Yustak Smith said that once Porter recovered from her severe psychosis, she was distressed and remorseful about what she had done.

“I think it’s a good thing when a person recognizes how serious it was and has the remorse because that’s the beginning of the recovery and can give the public some comfort that the person knows this was a bad thing,” Yustak Smith said.

Porter was committed to state custody in 1995.

Yustak Smith said she contacted family members of the victim prior to the hearing to discuss Porter’s potential discharge, and learned one was deceased and the other did not want to attend the hearing.

Porter hugged treatment providers and others from Riverview Psychiatric Center and from the hospital’s Assertive Community Treatment Team.

She is expected to continue with community-based treatment.

During a separate hearing in the same court Friday, Kirk T. Lambert also was discharged from the custody of the commissioner.

Lambert, 33, had been committed to state custody in 2000, following a verdict of not criminally responsible for robbery in an incident in which his lawyer said he wheeled a TV out of Walmart.

LeBlanc testified that Lambert was admitted to Riverview “and he stabilized quite quickly on medications.” She also said he has been dealing with an ongoing substance abuse issue.

Lambert has moved several times between the state hospital and the community, and several witnesses said he appeared overly dependent on Riverview and it was time for him to move on now that his mental illness is being treated and there has been no evidence of psychosis.

Instead of readmitting him recently, LeBlanc said, the hospital offered him a list of homeless shelters.

LeBlanc described Lambert, whose head is shaved, as “a good hair cutter,” and a person who is creative and makes beautiful quilts.

She said it appeared unlikely he would injure himself or others and that he plans to move to northern Maine where his father is a registered Maine Guide.

“He has been clean and sober for six months and quite committed to staying clean and sober,” she said.

LeBlanc said Lambert “was compassionate to other people with major mental illness who couldn’t help themselves.”

In March 2013, Lambert was a patient at Riverview when he was credited with rescuing a mental health worker there who was under attack by another patient.

The state, through Assistant District Attorney David Spencer, raised no objection to Lambert’s release.

“You are entitled to be discharged and have worked hard to bring yourself to this position,” Marden told Lambert. “You have some issues that you’re really going to have to stay on top of if you’re going to stay out of trouble.”

Marden warned him that people who don’t address substance issues “become very involved in the criminal justice system. In the final analysis, what happens is entirely up to you.”

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I’m currently incarcerated at the Windham Maine Correctional Center, doing 17 months for violating probation on a conviction of OUI which occurred in 2004. I suffer from a mental illness, addiction and residuals from a traumatic brain injury. Here’s my groove on Corrections in the State of Maine:

While Incarcerated at Kennebec County Correctional Facility in January of 2009, I pulled one of my best friends from a shower where he had committed suicide by hanging. Arthur Brian Traweek was a co-founder of the Holistic Recovery Project, and suffered from a mental illness. We were both successful graduates of the Kennebec county Co-Occurring Disorders Court Program.

Brian was only serving a 6 month sentence, but he’d been threatening suicide since his incarceration in November. While hanging from a sheet in the shower, an officer, Herreva went through our block for a check and actuallyopened the door to the shower room & seemed to look inside. (Apparently not.) After we pulled Brian out of the shower and alerted the guards, it was perhaps 8 minutes before they began performing mouth to mouth resuscitation on Brian. Why? No one could find a “separator:” a 25 cent plastic piece which rests between a victims lips and a rescuers (to prevent infection?) When they arrived, they said that he’d had a pulse. 8 minutes. Now he’s dead.

Brian had tried to commit suicide before, but with his particular illness most successful suicides are actual accidental. Brian counted on the jail to protect him. (To read the full deposition on Brian’s wrongful death, written only hours after the tragedy – click here).

What happened? There was an official police investigation. Nothing came of it. Maine State Civil Liberties Union promised to look into it, but never did.

Carol Caruthers of NAMI did stage a vigil, a candlelight vigil for Brian, right outside our window at the jail. It was attended by people who’d never visited Brian while he was alive. Neither would any of the crowd be visiting any of us who survived. We were treated to a crowd of candle-holding strangers, drinking coffee (which we couldn’t) and smoking cigarettes (which we couldn’t.)

As a fellow inmate said: “Who are these people? Brian never got any visitors when he was alive! Coffee and cigarettes? Why don’t they strippers out there too & call it good?!”

This was while we all faced showering in the same shower my friend had just hung himself in.

I have to throw in a special shout out to Carol Caruthers, who organized the worthless vigil – oh, made the paper, though, didn’t it, Carol? Carol, the executive Director of NAMI, Maine – National Association of Mentally Ill? NAMI did nothing. NAMI didn’t give a fuck. We even asked Carol over & over again to help re-open the investigation! “Please, Carol, Please!! Help us!! Read NAMI’s own reports on those of us with mental illness & addiction, killing ourselves in jail! Help us Carol!”

Carol & NAMI do not care. But they did have that nifty candlelight vigil!

Fuck you, Carol. Fuck you, NAMI.

Brian’s dead.

How many more of us will die, Carol?

Just keep cashing your checks, love.

In the System’s defense – did they ask to become, as Sheriff Randal Liberty so aptly put it recently, “the number one provider of mental health services in Maine?” No, they did not. Jails are for what? Punishment. As Bo Lozoff says, jail is “intended to punish them, pure & simple – to punish, hurt, confuse, emasculate, and eventually break their contrary spirits.” Or, as a friend of mine from Texas said to me before my most recent arrest, “Y’all got only a little over a million people in your whole one-syllable state –  how can your prisons be over-crowded?”

Jails were never designed to treat those of us with serious mental illness or addiction, any more than they were meant to treat cancer or leprosy.

What can we do to change things?

What can you do? Please – get involved. Nothing happens from within, and I guarantee you – all of the powers that be know the truth about Brian’s death, but no one will do anything to change the status quo unless we the people demand it. Call your legislator, your governor – call Carol – at NAMI, Maine. Ask her what time it is. Join the Holistic Recovery Project at http://holistix.atspace.com/wholeness.htm – we have a mailing list there too.

They incarcerate the mentally ill & the addicted, then they release them – untreated – back into your neighborhood.

If the powers that be lived in your neighborhood, perhaps more of us would be sent to rehabs & psychiatric hospitals. Perhaps there’d be money for those programs.

Only you can make it happen.

Please do. Because I guarantee – right now – some twenty-something is sitting in a cell & he’s coming off of opiates & his mental illness is causing him to believe that there’s only one way out.

– Rage

Interesting Collect Calls I've Made From Prison by Rage

George W. Bush DUI Arrest Record

Bush Drunk Driving Summary

This is the 1976 Maine police document recording the arrest of George W. Bushfor driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bush, who was 30 at the time, was popped over the Labor Day weekend near his family’s Kennebunkport summer home. Bush pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor DUI charge, paid a $150 fine, and had his driving privileges briefly revoked in the state of Maine.

The arrest record card was released November 2 by Kennebunkport police. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles also released this summary of Bush’s DUI conviction. (2 pages)

Not to be outdone, Dick Cheney has two drunk driving busts on his record.

Yes, we’ve all got questions about George W. Bush’s 1976 drunk driving arrest. But the Bush campaign isn’t really answering them (at least not yet), while the silence of the Gore campaign is deafening. So we’ve decided to cut through the spin and go behind the scenes for a few technical pointers on Maine driving laws. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about drunk driving arrests (or have at least wondered about in the past 24 hours).

What’s the difference between a DWI, a DUI and an OUI?

There’s absolutely no difference. Maine happens to use the term “Operating Under the Influence,” or OUI, but other states use DUI or DWI. They all mean the same thing.

Is drunk driving a felony or misdemeanor in Maine?

These days, your fourth OUI conviction in a 10-year period is considered a felony. Back in 1976, drunk driving was considered a misdemeanor into infinity — unless there was an accident, which could elevate the charge.

What was the penalty for an OUI arrest in 1976?

George W. Bush paid a $150 fine and his license was suspended for 30 days. Because Bush carried an out-of-state driver’s license (his address was recorded as Midland, Tex.), the suspension carried weight only in Maine. In other words, Bush could have had someone drive him to the state line, hop in the driver’s seat and tool off (legally) into the sunset.

These days, the penalties are stiffer, and most states adhere to an agreement providing reciprocity: A license suspension in Maine, for example, would carry over into Texas.

Has the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) changed since 1976?

In 1976, when Bush was arrested, the legal limit had just been lowered from .15 to .10. Bush’s BAC reportedly measured .10.

Today’s law puts the limit at .08. If you’re arrested and have a BAC between .08 and .15, you’re issued a standard DUI charge. If your BAC goes above .15, you’re stuck with mandatory jail time.

Can a drunk driving arrest be expunged from your record?

Back in ’76, OUI charges were removed from the driver’s record six years after the offense occurred.

Within the first 10 years after the arrest, a driver’s record shows a drunk driving conviction, with various details. After 10 years, a record will only show a past violation, without details. A casual observer wouldn’t be able to pick out a drunk driving conviction by glancing over a 24-year-old arrest record. You have to know what you’re looking for.

Thanks to State Trooper Lt. Theodore Short of York County, Maine (where Kennebunkport is located).

(How many times was he detained for drinking and driving before they were finally forced to arrest him?)

Kenneth McDonald

I met Kenny McDonald while in Kennebec County for a probation violation (drinking).  Kenny was a sweet guy, child-like in many ways.  We were cellmates for a while and despite a head injury that always allowed me a bottom bunk, I took the top; Kenny had trouble getting up there.  I shared food with him, games of brick-house.

Kenny stabbed his 80 year old mother to death in 2009.  I assumed they’d send him to the State mental hospital, but you know how the insanity defense rides here in the union.

Kenny got sentenced to 30 years.


download (7)I met Micheal ‘Dirty’ McQuade when, after my first trip to Windham Prison, my dear sister placed me in the cheapest, grottiest rooming house in town at the time, Larry “Slum Lord” Fleury’s Edward’s House.  Real sweet guy when I knew him back in ’06, intelligent fellow who seemed to have a big heart.  I lost touch with him when I went back to jail later on that year (probation violation: drinking,) and only heard about his descent into darkness after moving into ‘the Vatikan,’ in the ghetto of East Bayside P-town.

Dirty was addicted to heroin and he and a couple of other fellows decided that the best way to get more heroin was by robbing another addict of his heroin.  The man ended up getting murdered during the caper; Dirty gave evidence against the fellow that supposedly did the actual killing.

Dirty received 12 years.  


download (13).jpgI met Michael ‘Madman’ Pedini at the same time, and in the same cell-block as I met Kenny (as well as Danny Fortune.)  Madman, an enforcer for the Outlaws motorcycle gang killed a member of the rival Hell’s Angels.  He never wrote for the blog.

Pedini did five years and then entered the witness protection program.


arline-lawless-2.jpgI’ve never met Arline Lawless in person, although she’s been trading letters with the Project for a few years now.  Arline (who came from “Beans of Egypt Maine” surroundings murdered her boyfriend, a working fisherman, with a gun, apparently when he told her of his intention of breaking up with her.

Arline was sentenced to thirty-five years.


danny.2014

Finally, I met Daniel ‘Prince’ Fortune at the same time and in the same cell-block as Kenny and Pedini.  Daniel was a good kid; the first time I’d bumped into him we were all going to court and I was cuffed to him.  Danny told the cop to cuff me to someone else and then explained to me, “there are gonna be cameras out there and you don’t want to be on television next to me.”

Danny was a former sports star (Gardiner Highschool), born in Haiti, adopted into white central Maine.  He suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident and after that, things got darker.  Drugs.  Danny had stolen a safe from a former State Senator’s home; he’d partied there a lot with the Senator’s son.  The son ended up owing Danny’s foster brother Leo some money for drugs and one night they went to collect.  As it turned out, the son wasn’t home. While Danny waited outside (he was already jammed up due to the safe robbery) Leo ended up attacking the Senator and his young daughter with a machete.

After the pair were arrested, Danny kept quiet.  Leo, sang like addicts usually sing in such situations, blaming Danny to a large degree; he later recanted and took full responsibility for the vicious attack.

Leo got fifty years.  Danny got two concurrent life sentences.


 

“The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
But the Gospels actually taught this:
Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes.”

– Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

Get it?

Robin Rage

 

Presentation of the first edition of “Killer Advice” has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday, January 24th.  This unfortunate, but short delay is due to some technical trumps with one of our citizen collaborators.  

It’s worth the wait.

Thanks again, and sorry about the trump in the applesauce.

R.

True Believers:

A while ago we sent all of the prisoners we communicate with three requests for advice gathered from various advice columns.  We received advice back from Daniel ‘Prince’ Fortune (M.S.P./serving two life sentences for home invasion,) Michael ‘Dirty’ McQuade (M.S.P./ serving 12 years for murder,) and Arline Lawless (M.C.C./serving 35 years for murder) and we’ll post their responses this Wednesday.

Here are the requests for advice as the prisoners received them:

Problem 1: My Coworker Asked Me To Pose Topless ‘For An Anatomy Textbook’?

I work part-time in a small sales office of about 10 people. About a month ago, one of my coworkers approached me about doing a project for his graduate program at a local university. It was for some sort of anatomy textbook or similar: it would be a photo of my breasts with my face not in the photo for the textbook. I would be compensated for the photos.

There were some red flags in his proposition — the photos would be taken by him, in my home, and he never presented me with official paperwork about it. I called the university and they assured me that whatever “project” he was working on was not through their university, as there would have been extensive paperwork, screening, photos professionally taken, etc., which was what I had figured in the first place, particularly for such a large university and for a master’s program.  My question is this: Is this a matter that I should bring up to my boss? Is this something that she needs to know about?

Sincerely, A.

Problem 2. Do I Have To Tell The Daughter I Abandoned At Birth That I Trash-Talked Her Late Mom For Years?

When I was about 20, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was 23 and wanted the baby whereas I was not ready to be a father, so she broke up with me and had the baby pretty much on her own. Her family helped her and she didn’t ask me for child support until I graduated college and had a steady job. Still, it was a burden on my entry-level salary and I resented both her and my daughter, so I wasn’t an involved father. To explain myself to my family and others who knew I had a daughter I hardly saw, I made up stories about how horrible and crazy my ex was and how it was all her fault…

My ex contacted me last year to let me know she had a terminal illness. As a new father to a year-old son, I saw I couldn’t let my 18-year-old daughter, “Lynn,” go through that alone, so I reconnected with her, made peace with my ex and have been trying to make amends.  Lynn naturally resents and distrusts me, but she is slowly becoming a part of my life. The problem is that my wife, my parents and my friends think the worst of her late mother…

Must I confess, or can I just make it up to Lynn by being the best dad I can now? The truth could really ruin our fragile relationship.

Signed “Bad Dad.”

Problem 3. Should I Tell My Friends I Think Their 5-Year-Old Son Is Going To Be A Rapist When He Grows Up?

My friends have a son, about 5 years old. They enforce little (if any) discipline on him, and he throws a hissy fit if they try to “make” him do anything. They tell him to pick up something he threw; he ignores them. Dad picks it up in a couple of minutes. They tell him to go to bed; he ignores them and keeps doing whatever he is into. My fear is that they are teaching him that he can get away with anything by ignoring the rules. Specifically, I am concerned that he will never learn that no means no, i.e., that they are raising a rapist. Should I say anything to them? If I do, it would only be once, and I wouldn’t harp on it. They are NOT people who would be okay with this outcome, and/but I don’t want to stomp on my relationship with them either.

Signed “Watching”

You’ll be completely surprised by the advice we received back, and the difference sorts of advice applied to the same problem by each inmate.  We’re going to try to get Fuzzy Bear and Sarah to give their non-prison advice, but once we’ve posted the inmate responses, we encourage you to submit your advice as well.

Or a situation that you might like to get killer advice on.

Tune in on Wednesday, and be well!

logo-killeradvice1-ajb.jpg

[Image: “Killer Advice #2,” by Alyssa Joy Bartlett, 2019]

True Believers:

A while ago we sent all of the prisoners we communicate with three requests for advice gathered from various advice columns.  We received advice back from Daniel ‘Prince’ Fortune (M.S.P./serving two life sentences for home invasion,) Michael ‘Dirty’ McQuade (M.S.P./ serving 12 years for murder,) and Arline Lawless (M.C.C./serving 35 years for murder) and we’ll post their responses this Wednesday.

Here are the requests for advice as the prisoners received them:

Problem 1: My Coworker Asked Me To Pose Topless ‘For An Anatomy Textbook’?

I work part-time in a small sales office of about 10 people. About a month ago, one of my coworkers approached me about doing a project for his graduate program at a local university. It was for some sort of anatomy textbook or similar: it would be a photo of my breasts with my face not in the photo for the textbook. I would be compensated for the photos.

There were some red flags in his proposition — the photos would be taken by him, in my home, and he never presented me with official paperwork about it. I called the university and they assured me that whatever “project” he was working on was not through their university, as there would have been extensive paperwork, screening, photos professionally taken, etc., which was what I had figured in the first place, particularly for such a large university and for a master’s program.  My question is this: Is this a matter that I should bring up to my boss? Is this something that she needs to know about?

Sincerely, A.

Problem 2. Do I Have To Tell The Daughter I Abandoned At Birth That I Trash-Talked Her Late Mom For Years?

When I was about 20, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was 23 and wanted the baby whereas I was not ready to be a father, so she broke up with me and had the baby pretty much on her own. Her family helped her and she didn’t ask me for child support until I graduated college and had a steady job. Still, it was a burden on my entry-level salary and I resented both her and my daughter, so I wasn’t an involved father. To explain myself to my family and others who knew I had a daughter I hardly saw, I made up stories about how horrible and crazy my ex was and how it was all her fault…

My ex contacted me last year to let me know she had a terminal illness. As a new father to a year-old son, I saw I couldn’t let my 18-year-old daughter, “Lynn,” go through that alone, so I reconnected with her, made peace with my ex and have been trying to make amends.  Lynn naturally resents and distrusts me, but she is slowly becoming a part of my life. The problem is that my wife, my parents and my friends think the worst of her late mother…

Must I confess, or can I just make it up to Lynn by being the best dad I can now? The truth could really ruin our fragile relationship.

Signed “Bad Dad.”

Problem 3. Should I Tell My Friends I Think Their 5-Year-Old Son Is Going To Be A Rapist When He Grows Up?

My friends have a son, about 5 years old. They enforce little (if any) discipline on him, and he throws a hissy fit if they try to “make” him do anything. They tell him to pick up something he threw; he ignores them. Dad picks it up in a couple of minutes. They tell him to go to bed; he ignores them and keeps doing whatever he is into. My fear is that they are teaching him that he can get away with anything by ignoring the rules. Specifically, I am concerned that he will never learn that no means no, i.e., that they are raising a rapist. Should I say anything to them? If I do, it would only be once, and I wouldn’t harp on it. They are NOT people who would be okay with this outcome, and/but I don’t want to stomp on my relationship with them either.

Signed “Watching”

You’ll be completely surprised by the advice we received back, and the difference sorts of advice applied to the same problem by each inmate.  We’re going to try to get Fuzzy Bear and Sarah to give their non-prison advice, but once we’ve posted the inmate responses, we encourage you to submit your advice as well.

Or a situation that you might like to get killer advice on.

Tune in on Wednesday, and be well!

logo-killeradvice1-ajb.jpg

[Image: “Killer Advice #2,” by Alyssa Joy Bartlett, 2019]

download (3)

AUGUSTA – John P. L’Heureux, a Sanford man known for his wild rage and violent
past, is accused of killing two people, torching two houses and firing a shot
at a trooper before quietly surrendering to police early Wednesday morning, 25
hours after his crime spree began, police said.

L’Heureux, 28, has been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of
Kristen Smith, 16, his stepdaughter, who recently completed her sophomore year
at Cony High School in Augusta; and Mary Small Turner, 87, a hairdresser and
his former landlady.

Smith was apparently beaten with a piece of wood and left half-naked in a
shallow grave outside Augusta, police said. Turner was smashed with a vacuum
cleaner and strangled before her Augusta home was set on fire, court documents
show. L’Heureux also has been charged with arson.

L’Heureux, shaggy-haired and heavy-lidded, made his first appearance in
Kennebec County District Court on Wednesday afternoon.

He did not enter a plea. A bail hearing is set for Monday. He is being held
without bail at Kennebec County Jail.

L’Heureux’s arrest came after hours of non-stop work by police from central and
southern Maine. Their efforts to solve arsons in Augusta and Shapleigh and to
find a girl missing from Vassalboro mushroomed into a manhunt for a killer.

L’Heureux, released from prison in February 1995 after serving time for a
savage attack on a Sanford woman in 1991, was the common link.

The chain of events, which spanned 90 miles, began about 11:30 p.m. Monday when
L’Heureux spotted Kristen Smith outside an Augusta convenience store, according
to an affidavit filed by police.

Beth White, 24, who was with Smith that night, said Smith told her she was
going for a ride with L’Heureux because he said he had had a fight with her
mother and he needed to talk to someone, according to police reports. Smith
never returned.

L’Heureux told detectives he drove her to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Manchester,
about three miles from downtown Augusta. Once there, he assaulted her, beat her
with a piece of poplar wood, then buried her in a shallow grave near the
cemetery, police said. Her body was found there early Wednesday morning. She
was naked from the waist down.

Police say L’Heureux left the cemetery and headed back to Augusta and Turner’s
home at 25 Myrtle St., where he and his wife and stepchildren had lived in an
upstairs apartment for seven months before moving to Sanford in mid-June.
L’Heureux knew Turner’s back door would be unlocked, police said.

”He said that he intended to kill her because she had complained about getting
old and how difficult it was growing old,” Maine State Police Detective
William Harwood wrote in his affidavit. ”He said he hit her with a vacuum
cleaner and then set the house on fire. He said that Ms. Turner was still alive
as the fire was starting and he stepped on her throat.”

Turner’s neighbors reported the fire about 2 a.m. Tuesday. Turner’s body was
found in the living room. An autopsy, performed Tuesday, showed Turner died
from strangulation, and that her face and head were battered.

Tuesday morning, as investigators sifted through Turner’s charred home, Kristen
Smith’s family reported her missing to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith’s mother, Joy Robie L’Heureux drove up to Vassalboro, where Smith had been
staying with her father, Arnold Smith.

Joy Robie L’Heureux and Arnold Smith declined to comment Wednesday.

By 6 p.m. Tuesday, L’Heureux was back in southern Maine, torching a cabin in
Shapleigh, police said. Detectives said L’Heureux may have had some sort of tie
with a former caretaker of the cabin, but no specifics were provided.

Not far from the cabin, firefighters spotted a car on fire, a tip that this
fire was no accident.

A check of the car’s registration revealed the names John and Joy L’Heureux.
The puzzle was coming together with one piece missing: John L’Heureux.

L’Heureux did not make much effort to hide from police, according to court
documents. About 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, he shot out the rear window of Trooper
Gerome Carr’s cruiser as Carr left the scene of the Shapleigh fire. Police
descended on the area.

L’Heureux then stepped out of the woods and told Carr and Trooper Peter Sheldon
that he had been on the run for two days. He asked the troopers if they were
looking for him.

”Should we be?” Sheldon countered.

”I killed that old lady in Augusta and torched the house,” L’Heureux told the
troopers, according to a police affidavit.

Maine State Police Lt. Tim Doyle said police still haven’t been able to answer
one vexing question: Why did he do it?

”We’re looking into the facts and circumstances,” Doyle said. ”But right now
there is no apparent motive.”

The details of the murders dumbfounded some of L’Heureux’s acquaintances in
Augusta and Sanford.

Flossie Panek, who visted her elderly friend Mary Turner daily, and helped
Turner with her errands and her tenants, said she knew John L’Heureux as
clean-cut, quiet and well-mannered.

”I could not believe when everyone said this was the gentleman who had done
this,” Panek said. ”I thought ‘No, it can’t be.’ ”

Panek went to Kennebec County District Court to see the accused killer for
herself, and her disbelief soon turned to anger.

”This man is beyond sick,” she said.

Panek said Joy and John L’Heureux left Turner’s apartment on amicable terms
with the former landlady, after L’Heureux lost his job in Augusta.

L’Heureux’s new neighbors in Sanford were similarly disturbed by the charges.

”He seemed like a hell of a nice guy,” said Joe Dionne, who lived next door
to L’Heureux on River Road. ”My wife is in shock today.”

L’Heureux’s criminal history, however, is well-known among some in Sanford,
where he was raised and where he attacked a woman in 1991.

Tammy Andrews was beaten, then run over with a car and left – grievously
injured – by the town dump. Her pelvis was broken in four places, her hips in
nine, and for more than a week her face was swollen beyond recognition.

L’Heureux was originally charged with attempted murder in that case, but he
pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault because prosecutors
acknowledged their case was largely circumstantial. Andrews could not remember
the attack.

At his sentencing hearing in 1992, L’Heureux apologized to Andrews.

”There’s no excuse,” he told her. ”I know what I’ve done and I wish I could
change what happened. You were an innocent victim to my rage.”

By Sarah Ragland 
Staff writer Gregory Kesich and news assistant Will Bartlett contributed to
this report.

Misty Romero of Limington faces several charges after police say she drove through a closed accident scene, nearly hit a Gorham police office and struck six vehicles,

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s office said in a press release that Misty Romero was charged with eluding an officer and operating under the influence following the 6:40 p.m. incident that started on Route 35 in Standish. Police said a motorist had called the county dispatch center to report the 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 truck was operating erratically. The truck stopped near Route 35 and Route 237 in Standish where traffic had backed up due to a motorcycle fire on the side of Route 35. A Gorham police officer had a brief contact with Romero before she sped off nearly striking the officer. The truck drove through the backed up traffic, striking six other vehicles including two Standish fire vehicles and losing the truck’s driver’s side tire. Deputies were able to catch up with the truck which continued to operate with three tires, sending out a large trail of sparks s. The truck traveled at 40 to 85 mph for more than three miles before it became disabled. Romero and a 40-year-old passenger were taken into custody.

The passenger was not charged. Romero was ordered held for eight hours before she could pay the $1,500 bail.

Romero was also arrested on several other charges, police said.

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