Maine man faces charges after killing two in wild rampage

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 2:40 PM

By Dave Sherwood

HOULTON, Maine (Reuters) - A Maine ex-convict accused of fatally shooting two people, kidnapping a woman and firing wildly at police during a high-speed chase through the state's sparsely populated north faced charges related to the spree on Monday.

Dressed in a sleeveless green prison jersey, 35-year-old Anthony Lord appeared via closed-circuit television from the jail in Houlton, Maine, where he has been held since he was arrested on Friday at the end of his alleged rampage.

Maine District Court Judge Bernard O'Mara asked the defendant if he understood he faced two counts of murder and one of kidnapping. Lord mumbled "yes" in response.

Lord has yet to be indicted by a grand jury, but faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted, the judge said.

Lord confessed to the murders, police said in an affidavit made available following the hearing.

Attorney Jeff Pickering, who represented Lord on Monday, said the defendant suffered from mental health issues and requested the state conduct an evaluation, prompting an inaudible response from Lord.

    Lord, who police say has a long criminal record and is a registered sex offender, surrendered peacefully at a relative's home in Houlton on Friday afternoon following a daylong rampage in an area near the Canadian border best known for potato farms and logging, police said.

The violence began early on Friday morning, when a man in Silver Ridge Township, part of Maine's sparsely populated unorganized territory, was tied up and beaten; his guns and pick-up truck stolen, police said.

Not long afterward, police said Lord reappeared in a neighboring town where he shot and killed a man, wounded a woman and kidnapped her daughter, 21-year-old Brittany Irish.

The family's barn had burned under mysterious circumstances the night before and was still smoldering when Lord fled, police said.

A manhunt ensued, spanning two counties and hundreds of square miles.

Lord evaded police after a high-speed pursuit while shooting at them from his vehicle, then shot two more men, killing one, before stealing a large logging truck from them.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said Lord would likely face further charges.

Christina Tompkins, of Houlton, where Lord surrendered, said the town was shocked by the news.

"You hear about this stuff happening in New York, but not in Houlton," she said.

In 2013, Maine had the second lowest rate of violent crime in the United States, according to FBI data.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler)