A security breach allowed a Cumberland County Jail inmate to sneak into another cellblock for an alleged sexual encounter over the weekend. This incident is now under investigation.
The incident occurred in the jail’s maximum security unit at a time of day when all inmates are required to be secured in their cells, Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Monday in a news release.
The inmates involved in the rendezvous were identified as Arien L’Italien, 23, of Biddeford, and Karla Wilson, 25, whom authorities describe as a Portland transient.
L’Italien, a federal inmate being held for probation violation, was arrested in Portland in late January after allegedly firing a handgun at members of the U.S. Marshals Maine Violent Offender Task Force as they attempted to arrest him on Mellen Street.
Officers returned fire and struck L’Italien in the leg. At the time of the incident, he was wanted on a felony arrest warrant charging him with aggravated assault in Biddeford. He also was on probation for felony theft.
Wilson is awaiting trial for four counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of aggravated assault.
According to reports, Portland police arrested Wilson and Shawn Bacheldor, 27, last August in connection with the rape of a 24-year-old local woman. Police said at that time that the victim knew her alleged attackers.
Both inmates’ cells were on the same level of the maximum security unit, separated by a walkway and two security doors.
The breach was detected shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday, when a corrections officer on the overnight shift spotted L’Italien crawling on the floor of the unit’s second level, apparently trying to get from one cellblock to another unnoticed.
A check of recorded video surveillance footage showed that L’Italien entered the women’s maximum security cellblock about an hour earlier and was on his way back to his own cellblock, the news release said. He had to maneuver through four doors to gain access to Wilson’s cell in the women’s cellblock.
Corrections officers at the jail perform visual and welfare checks on every occupied cell every 15 minutes, the sheriff’s department said.
L’Italien, however, arranged his bunk to look as though he were in it and had manipulated the lock on his cell in a manner that went undetected by officers. Wilson manipulated the lock on her cell in the same manner in anticipation of L’ltalien’s visit, the news release said.
Investigators said they believe that the two inmates know each other through friends and were interested in a sexual encounter.
A preliminary investigation showed that L’Italien had somehow communicated with Wilson through the jail ventilation system and arranged for her to manipulate the lock on her cell door so the door would not lock completely.
L’Italien then sneaked out out of his cell block and into Wilson’s, where authorities believe the two had consensual sex, the sheriff’s department said.
L’ltalien now is being held in the facility’s “super max,” while Wilson is being segregated in the intake unit.
A review of video footage and an examination of the two cellblocks suggest that the location and design of the corrections officers’ station, as well as “some lack of attention to detail” by the officers on duty at the time, played a major role in the security breach, the news release said.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal investigation to see if any policies may have been violated and which policies should be changed as a result of the event.
A lovelorn Welsh pensioner who broke the law by sending Christmas cards to his ex-girlfriend was told by a judge he has to “accept the romance is over”.
Great grandfather Donald Henry Hird, 82, sent parcels containing 30 old Christmas cards which he and travel agent Mavis Pike, 57, had received as a couple.
She also received other Christmas cards in which Hird wrote “love you always and forever”.
But doing so breached a restraining order his former lover obtained last September, saying he’d bombarded her with phone calls and letters after she broke off their relationship.
Sentencing the pensioner, of Cysgod y Bryn, Llanbedrog near Pwllheli, to a 12-month community order on Valentine’s Day, District Judge Andrew Shaw told him: “It’s particularly inappropriate timing perhaps to be dealing with the case. But you have to accept the romance is over and you are bound by the restraining order.”
Mel Hughes, prosecuting, said receiving the cards and messages upset Mrs Pike, who feared he would turn up at her home.
In a statement she told police: “He’s still controlling my life. I just want to be left alone.”
Hird admitted breaching the restraining order which banned contact with Mrs Pike and her daughter. He was also barred from where they live at Bury and Heywood, near Manchester.
Solicitor Tudur Owen, defending, said his loneliness was the nub of the matter. “He is isolated from people he knows and feels that loneliness desperately.”
Judge Shaw told Hird that six months ago he would have been regarded as someone of good character and entitled to the respect of the community.
“Now, unfortunately and sadly, you have appeared in court twice,” he said.
During the judge’s remarks Hird interrupted to ask: “Will I ever be able to see her?”
After the hearing Hird said he hadn’t sent any Valentine’s Day cards.
He said of Mrs Pike: “We had a very special relationship and I loved her so much. I miss her, she was so precious to me.”
Hird is a former publican who was married 36 years and served in the RAF.
A man is to stand trial accused of committing a breach of the peace by waving around a tool used to stir compost.
Graham Vincent, 52, is alleged to have brandished a compost aerator on a footpath in Wallace Crescent, Cowie. The aerator was described as an “offensive weapon” during a hearing at Stirling Sheriff Court.
Mr Vincent, of Ochre Crescent in Cowie, denied all the charges relating to the alleged incident.
As well as a breach of the peace, he is accused of acting in a disorderly manner while carrying the tool, which is used to help speed up the composting process.
The court heard that he also denied a second charge that without lawful excuse or authority he had with him an offensive weapon – namely the aerator.
Lyndsey Brooks, prosecuting, said that the Crown were ready for trial. Sheriff William Gilchrist continued the case to a trial diet on 14 November.