13 On Your Side: Small cases not being heard in York County
As the high profile Kennebunk prostitution trial continues, some in York County are frustrated other cases aren't being heard. Shoplifting, criminal threatening, even drunk driving cases are being thrown out by the district attorney.
It's a crime caught on camera. In a security video, you see a suspect walk into Jaky's Store in Biddeford.
Minutes later, he pockets 2 cans of cat food and walks out.
It’s an elaborate security system that cost owner Maurice Methot a pretty penny. He called the police and turned over the video.
Maurice Methot: “They knew he lived next door - went over and summonsed him - said he had a pretty good case on it and he would get back to me.”
But when the officer got back to him, it wasn't the news he wanted to hear. The message from the York County district attorney's office as outlined in this court paperwork. "further prosecution not warranted."
Even though the report also says the suspect admitted to stealing and "stated he was sorry and just needed food for his cat as he was out of work." Methot didn't even get the stolen product back.
Methot: “They said they couldn't do anything about it - not enough of a cost.
And these aren't the only cases being dismissed by the DA's office. An in depth analysis by our media partners at the Portland Press Herald found York County has the lowest drunk driving conviction rate of any county in the state.
In fact, Biddeford Police chief Roger Beaupre told me about 40 percent of the cases they send to the DA's office are being dumped. He told me *they're* making the arrests and filing the paperwork, but after that, it's off his desk and out of his hands. For the owner of this small business, he says it's time for the wheels to start spinning.
We've called York County district attorney Kathryn Slattery several times and left multiple messages. We also went to her office but were told she wasn't available. We'll continue to try to get some answers.
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