Monday, January 29, 2007

Another Reason Joe Baiungo Should Have Won (Open Trackbacks)

First of all, my many abject apologies for the dearth of blog posts. Workdays have gotten extremely long lately, with a lot of commuting. My lovely wife Rowan and I will be moving to another part of Maine in the coming months to shorten that. Most nights, it's all I can do to watch a little TV before bed.

Part of the reason my workdays have gotten so long is that I've finally gotten a promotion that's been in the works for a long time. I've spent a few weeks out of state, and will spend more, receiving training for my new position.

Indeed, it was during one of those week-long training sessions in November that I received a phone call from my wife, alerting me to a message on our home answering machine. To her, it was very cryptic. The District Attorney's office in Belfast wanted to know if I had received a subpoena in regards to a domestic assault case. Seems the subpoena had been sent out late.

Of course I hadn't, and I had to quickly assure my lovely bride that I had merely been a witness to an assault, not the perpetrator upon some secret second wife.

The further details of the message were that the case was going to trial the next morning, and they needed my testimony. I called the DA's Office and left a message that I was out of state till after Thanksgiving, but if they could reschedule the case and give me adequate notice, I'd be more than happy to help them out.

Later that evening, Rowan reported that another message had been left at home, saying that they would seek to continue the case, but were pessimistic that the continuance would be granted.

I never heard anything more about the case till the court news came out in the paper a couple of weeks later: case dismissed.

Now let me tell you exactly what it was that I had seen. I was working at my second job at the theatre on a Sunday afternoon, and out on the streets of Belfast, Nathaniel Littlehale and his wife were having an argument. Her voice was very loud, and could be heard for blocks. She was basically yelling at him from across the street. Nathaniel's voice was very low, but when he walked in front of the open theatre doors, he was heard to mumble, "I'm going to get that bitch."

A few seconds later, across the street from the theatre, I saw the two of them, arms locked, and he was shaking her. At this point, I called 911.

The police arrived before I had even finished giving all my info to the dispatcher. The officer later told me that when he heard the description, he knew exactly who the couple were. They had caused disturbances of the peace many times. When the cops got there, both Nathaniel and his wife denied any physical altercation had taken place. But based on my report, and the report of a tenant in an upstairs apartment overlooking the street, he would suggest to the DA's office that a charge of domestic violence was in order.

So if an incompetent DA like Geoffrey Rushlau hadn't been in office, a subpoena would have gotten to me in a timely manner, ensuring my attendance at the trial. (By the way, as of this writing in late January, that subpoena still hasn't found its way to me. Either the lady at the DA's office was lying when she said it had been sent, or the sheriff or the postal service has also been incompetent in getting it to me. My sources tell me that the DA's office routinely requests that piles of subpoenas for imminent trials be served on extremely short notice.)

I sure hope Joe Baiungo runs for DA again. Or at least someone else who won't hire staff who bungle a likely domestic violence conviction.

The reason I've been reminded to write about this today, months after the fact, is this article on Village Soup: In frigid temperatures, Littlehale homeless on Midcoast streets.

He admits to having vehement arguments with his wife, which is why, he said, that he cannot stay with her relatives. He also admits that he has refused to be taken to a shelter in Bangor because his wife could not go there with him.

Not vehement. VIOLENT. He should be in jail, not in a homeless shelter. I'm sure the director of Hospitality House would have liked to say more than "there is a history there," to explain why Littlehale isn't welcome at the shelter in Rockland. Shelters are to help people who've fallen on hard times, not people who exhibit violent behavior. I used to volunteer overnight at a shelter in another part of the state, and certainly know that shelter staff and volunteers aren't in any position to deal with someone like Littlehale.

More to come.



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Untwisted Vortex offers a humorous Gulf War I story.

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