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Kenneth Morang told police he fell asleep at the wheel after an overtime shift at the Cumberland County Jail when his pickup truck slammed into the back of an SUV, killing a 9-year-old girl.


A former Cumberland County corrections officer who told police he fell asleep at the wheel before a crash in July that killed a 9-year-old girl is facing a manslaughter charge.

Kenneth Morang, 62, was indicted this month by a Cumberland County grand jury in connection to the July 21 crash on Route 25 in Gorham. Morang worked for 13 years as a corrections officer, but resigned earlier this month because of injuries he suffered in the crash, which prevented him from returning to work, according to the Sheriff’s office.

Raelynn Bell, of Cumberland, was in the third row of her father’s Honda SUV when Morang’s truck slammed into the back of the vehicle, which was stopped in the road to make a left-hand turn. The family was returning from seeing “The Lion King” movie.

Bell suffered a serious brain injury and was flown by LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center, but died two days after the crash. Other family members suffered serious injuries but survived.

The prosecution of Morang will be handled by the York County District Attorney’s office because of Morang’s previous employment by Cumberland County, said York County Deputy District Attorney Justina McGettigan.

Phone numbers listed for Morang, of Standish, were not in service Thursday afternoon or did not permit incoming calls. He could not be reached for comment.

Bell’s family declined to comment, but their attorney, Walter F. McKee, issued a brief statement on their behalf via email.

“This has been an unspeakable tragedy for this family,” McKee said. “We were in touch with the District Attorney’s Office and were aware that the indictment was handed down. The indictment is small solace but of course none of this will bring Raelynn back.”

McKee said he has been retained by the family to represent Raelynn’s estate, but he is still researching whether the county bears any responsibility in Raelynn’s death. If McKee intends to file suit, he first must file a notice of claim with the county, a standard step whenever an individual intends to take legal action against a municipality.

When asked if he has filed suit against Morang personally, McKee offered a brief reply: “Not yet,” he said.

Morang had worked a string of long days and overtime shifts immediately before the crash. Such extended, often voluntary overtime shifts are now part of  negotiations between the correction officers’ union and county management, Sheriff Kevin Joyce said in a statement Thursday.

Joyce said he hopes to strike a balance between needing to fill vacant correction officer shifts while not unnecessarily limiting the ability of a corrections officer to work desired overtime shifts.

“There is no documented guidance on the optimum number of hours that an employee should/shouldn’t work overtime,” Joyce said in the statement. “Research indicates that there is no federal or state law that governs the maximum hours of overtime an employee should work for their safety or anyone else’s safety.”

The week of the crash, Morang worked a total of 88 hours at the jail, and he had done consecutive double-shifts during the two days before the crash, according to information released by Joyce’s office. Morang’s last shift began at 11 p.m. Saturday and ended at 2:27 p.m. Sunday, Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said previously. The crash occurred about 2:53 p.m., police said. All of those shifts that week were voluntary.

Morang, who has been a correctional office for at least seven years, earns $20.99 per hour, or a gross salary of $43,659. Most full-time workers who clock 40 hours per week log about 2,000 paid hours per year, depending on vacation and time off.

In 2018, however, Morang worked 2,654.5 hours of overtime worth an additional $82,750, and was on track to continue working a high number of overtime hours this year. Through July 13 of 2019, Morang worked 1,671.38 overtime hours, according to information released by the sheriff’s office on Tuesday.

It is relatively common for corrections officers to work multiple extra shifts in one week at the Cumberland County Jail. In the five-week period before the crash, 15 to 17 employees each week worked more than three extra shifts, county records show.

Joyce said he planned to have an expert make a presentation to employees and union representatives to discuss the dangers of sleep deprivation.

“Officer Morang made this trip to and from work on many occasions without incident, however, unfortunately during the trip in question a 9-year-old girl lost her life,” Joyce wrote in the statement released Thursday. “We are committed to doing what we can to meet the needs of the public, needs of the employee and the needs of the organization in a manner that doesn’t endanger others. Again, we send our deepest condolences to the Bell family.”

Currently, there is no mechanism or contractual language that limits the number of hours a corrections officer may work in a given time period. Employees at the jail are expected to self-regulate.

Hello one of my names is Janos Undervoot and one of my biggest challenges this week is I learned my Grandfather, the man that raised me has cancer. It’s back he spent two weeks in the hospital and is now with hospice at home. I wish I wasn’t locked up I can’t call or go home for his passing. There isn’t anything I can do but honor his memory, somehow. Don’t worry about me though. I know sooner or later we all must wake from the dream. I learned that the day I killed a rabbit as I tried to protect it from a dog. The French say “Such is Life” and so do I.

Just remember children the revolution will not be televised but it will be on Facebook. Until next week.


Hi. Your letter got sent back, because the letter was too big. So here is one with my name.  Send me a letter.

How is all of you?  I have been in for 3 1/2 months.  I be out in April or May.  Miss you guys.  I have money now.  Tell the guys I said hi.  Thanks for the Christmas card.  The Goblin was in here two times.  What is Rage’s real name?

Someone come visit me.  Wednesday: 830pm, Saturday: 545pm.

I am doing pushups every day.  Walking.  I gained 20 pounds since October first.  I wrote new songs.  I have my own cell.  I got turned down for a work release.

Well, write me.

Star Blanket

Waiting to get transferred for three months now; trying to get closer to home, practically been begging to get closer to see my ailing parents.  Mom is 65 and Dad is 80 and I haven’t seen them for almost a year due to their health.  Why do we have to go through such ignorance?  One of my parents could die and I would never get the chance to talk to them again, all cause I had to wait on a stupid list.  I say I should be put on the top and taken care of for medical reasons, but no, they would have to die for them to do anything.

What kind of people are they?


Well, I guess winter has come early this year.  Our first November and it’s just right before Halloween.  I have a feeling that it is going to be a long snowy winter.  Hopefully it won’t be too cold.  So how is everyone out there in the Holistic Nation?  Hopefully no one has had to shovel too much snow.  Hey, has anyone been going to any gaming conventions yet?  Hope someone goes.  Well, in honor of Halloween, I’m sending some Halloween-type D&D stuff.  Hope that everyone gets lots of trick or treaters.

Bowl of Blood: This bowl is made of some unknown black metal. When the command word is spoken, the bowl fills up with blood.  90% of these bowls fill with human blood, 10% fill up with dwarven, elf, halfling, ogre and orc blood.  Drinking from the bowl heals a vampire of five hit pointsof damage.

Cloak of the Vampire: This cloak is made from the skin of a Vampire.  This cloak gives the wearer the ability to assume gaseous form, turn into a bat, summon and control bats and wolves, and to heal 12 to 15 points of damage, twice per day.  When the wearer dies and if he is buried with the cloak, there is a 95% chance that he will turn into a vampire.

Be well,

Kenny “Malibu-Owl” McDonald

They dance so smoothly across the sky

Pars, like dancers in transit before my eye

My body worms at the thought of you

(You) how have captured our hearts

You who stands on a threshold so high

No one to deny you

Be on top, the mountain hop

I lie here on this meadow below her

Casting an eye to heavens solder

Cumulus clouds make for all things at random

Like circling dancers

Or shimmering angels


When I think of  you,

I see too of everything

Dress me in the sound

of your thousand angels company

Carried on wings renowned

Though our heads are bowed in humility

They sing and a mountain, it moves (inside me)

Their song, it thins the boundary

Between heaven and earth

They care more for our souls

Then the shells of our birth

A treasured thing

Is a wants lived in being

A life long mystery

Like an echo of a song

Who will show up for me?

Will I remember you?

Or will you, me?  And

What of them will I see?


Lately my family and friends have been dropping like flies

Too often it seems that another of my own meet their demise

I am clearly aware that ones’ life can never be endless

though I now feel too young to be left lonely and friendless

I sometimes think of friends who have made their amends

I secretly wish for a seat at my own funeral just to see who attends

when it’s my time to go I’ll leave instructions for a traditional Irish wake

The mixture of hate and remorse on the faces a pleasantly bitter pill to take

As yet it is too soon to go with my mortality beginning to show

being humans in middle age we simply fear that which we do not know

so to those who were thoughtless enough not to portend their own pass

I’ll see you again one day old friends but until then you can kiss my ass.

The darkest secrets you’ve done everything to hide

are eating away at all of your selfish pride

the times you tried and failed a piece of you has died

Now the rot is spreading to every single bone inside

Before it’s through you’ll wish that you had never lied

Every bit of life is a part of a greater scheme

Every day another step closer to the edge or so it would seem

You can stop your running and hiding as this is not a dream

Your hopes are blinking out like the death of a headlight beam

Now every day the life in your eyes is losing it’s gleam

The little lies have grown and will haunt you till you die

Your woman sits there chanting oh – why oh – why oh – why

You should have told here long ago but you didn’t even try

for years you’ve walked on the edge just barely getting by

Now is the time to tell the truth not another friggin’ lie

Everything you’ve left behind is still waiting there for you

it’s far too late to run but you wonder what to do

Bounty hunters have been seen this day of this you’re sure is true

They’ll bring you back to a man who’ll give you a surely final screw

Sentenced to life in prison you’ve run til you were through

It all started in the late 1980’s when we found the ozone full of holes,

no longer a scientist fantasy global warming had begun,

by the year 2010 the ice caps were melting for lack of cold,

the atmosphere was letting in more ultraviolet rays from the sun,

sleeping in the melting ice was a virus hat had been dead millions of years,

it began to thrive in the air and light searching for a host,

in the cities the virus swept infecting us with disease and fear,

no one could find a cure, the dead stretched from coast to coast,

in a little over a year, the world lost half it’s population,

some of us were inexplicably immune to the Millennium Virus,

then as fast as the virus has come, it disappeared into speculation,

the big cities are like ghost towns, no longer the money to save us,

all humanities big hopes and dreams brought down by an ancient microbe,

but we will live on and rebuild though we will never be the same,

we shouldn’t have let the precious environment around us erode,

maybe this is natures way of cleansing to start again…

A gentle plop as a fish surfaces to take a mosquito from the air nearby, tells me I have reached my destination, I have been coming to this place, this bridge, over a small river almost forgotten by people, since I was a child, some friends and I learned to swim here. Mastering our diving as we grew older, and all of us had a lot of fun doing it. Here later on we learned about fishing, by trial and error on our own part, also by picking the brains of any locals that occasions by. We learned all of the required fisherman’s knots, the different hooks for certain fish, and the never – do’s of fishing. It seemed each older fellow that came along had one to add to our arsenal of secrets.

At some point in our early teens the topics changed from fish, bikes, and skateboards, to girls, cars, and beer. The bridge became our meeting place. A place to talk out our problems, learn from each other, get over whatever stumbling block one of us was impaled upon. Important decisions were made there. Grievances were voiced and settled there, and alone, sitting on the guardrail, staring out at the powerful river, with a beer in one hand and a fishing pole in the other, I single- handedly thought out and solved every problem that has ever plagued man-kind. Well, I may have missed a few. But I was always proud of my decisions made on that cold and lonely concrete seat.

Once my friends and I were setting comfortable in our lives, with our wives and then children coming into the picture, we returned to the bridge. We hung out together and kept up on our families, events at work, and fish always seemed to wiggle it’s way into our conversations. We taught the boys all how to fish, and only one of the girls were interested. She did well. A real quick learner. The kids all learned to swim there as well. Having fun diving from the rocks along the shore.

Later on they practiced from the bridge itself, and swam back and forth across the lazy river. They learned all that we could teach them at the bridge. Always with eagerness.

When our children reached their teens,  my friends and I allowed them their childhood. The adults willingly being banished from the bridge except on Sundays. Those were family days. That was good enough for us. Each having careers and our adult lives to tend to, and so cheerfully gave up the bridge to the next generation. We had started something.

We continued the Sunday tradition in warm and decent weather for a number of years. Our children continuing on with their children. The knowledge gained, the inner peace and clarity of mind. Has been useful beyond imagination for our many families. The power one feels while sitting there, several feet above the enormous black snake that is wreathing past. It may well be that it’s vast wisdom rubs off on a person…

Since passing the bridge on to the kids nearly thirty years ago, I have come here quite a few times on my own, sans fishing pole, usually with beer, to think, my best friends son was killed by a drunk driver. Then I came here to think. It was then that I sobered to the reality, that no matter how hard one tries to protect their children, their families, shit happens. Bad things sometimes, happen to good people, and there’s just not a damn thing anyone can do about it. A harsh fact to come to terms with. It’s just another piece of our all encompassing reality.

My son called me one night about four years ago. He said he had to talk to me at the bridge. Immediately. So we met. He told me his wife been to the dr’s a week ago for a physical and some tests. The Dr. called her to the office today for the results. It was Cancer, we sat, and talked, and cried, and talked some more. The Dr. gave her a year to live. Pancreatic Cancer. She had lasted just ten months. After the funeral I went to the bridge. It was a warm and breezy afternoon, I thought of her, and then I thought of how so many of my close friends and family had passed on over the last few years. After funerals I like to go to the bridge. Say my good-byes, as if those who have just passed are taking their last ride on river that was ingrained within them. It is how I say good-bye. It adds a sense of closure, finality to it.

Nine months ago my own wife passes on. Again I went to the bridge. More questions to ask the mighty river. And the more answers I left with in my head. The bridge has become a symbol in my life. Of people coming, and going, and so many  changes in life, and when all hope seems lost, it is the place to find the answers. There is always some kind of answer…

Today I’ve come here on foot. It is a beautiful spring day. I’ve brought a small cooler of beer, my rod and tackle, and a notebook with a pen. I have many questions. A whole page of them. I ask the river my questions one at a time. I sip beer and wait for the answers to come. As they do, I put them in my book after the appropriate question. These are all things that I have wondered for quite some time. Only one question left. A theoretical one. Maybe, if all those I loved, and died have become part of the river, will I ever see them again? Because their being gone has left such an aching void in me, that I’d do anything to end that pain. Time passes as I drift in a daze. The suns warmth engulfs me. The answer comes as if a calling from beyond. Yes, I too then, must become part of the river. The sun eases my aches. I slip into the water.

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

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