Woman Admits Helping Suspects in Franky the Pug Case Avoid Arrest
A woman who helped two men elude police in connection with the killing of a pug dog named Franky received her sentence on Tuesday.
Maria Lockhart, 26, pleaded guilty Monday in an Ellsworth courtroom to a felony charge of hindering apprehension or prosecution. She was accused of helping Nathan Burke and Justin Chipman, who were suspected of stealing and damaging an SUV belonging to lobsterman Phil Torrey, and torturing and killing his dog. Burke and Chipman had once worked on Torrey's boat as sternmen. According to the BDN, Lockhart drove the men to Bangor, where they got a hotel room after Franky went missing in August of 2018.
The Winter Harbor woman was given a deferred disposition sentence, which means that if she stays out of trouble for a year, she can withdraw her guilty plea and instead be charged with a misdemeanor crime of obstruction of government administration and pay a fine of $250. If she gets into trouble in the next year, she could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.