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Maine State Police say sex offender’s death in Molunkus related to I-95 suicide

3-12-2013 Maine:

MOLUNKUS TOWNSHIP, Maine — The death of a registered sex offender on Macwahoc Road is connected to a four-hour standoff on Interstate 95 that ended Monday with a man’s suicide, state police said Tuesday.

State police officers found the body of Lawrence J. Lewis, 68, in his home at 450 Macwahoc Road on Monday night while other officers were engaged in a standoff with 59-year-old Bruce King several miles away. The standoff ended shortly after 8 p.m. when King shot himself in the head with a rifle.

Investigators who gathered outside Lewis’ home on Tuesday declined to release details of the connection between the deaths of Lewis and King. It might be days before they have the whole story, state police Lt. Christopher Coleman said.

“We are not in a position to draw any conclusions yet. We are trying to establish how Mr. King knew Mr. Lewis,” Coleman said during a press conference at Lewis’ home.

“This is Day One of a very complex investigation,” Coleman added.

Lewis was convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy who lived with him and is a lifetime registrant on the Maine Sex Offender Registry, according to previous Bangor Daily News reports.

He was convicted in September 1996 of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact with the child and sentenced to 14 years in prison with five years suspended and six years of probation after he was released.

King was a passenger in a rented truck that Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped on the highway near mile marker 225 at about 4 p.m. Monday, said Coleman, who leads the Major Crime Unit for northern Maine.

King held a .30-30 rifle to his head at times during the standoff as police surrounded the truck and tried to negotiate with him, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

“I think the circumstances and what we’re dealing with are still being worked on by detectives,” he said.

The 43-year-old female driver of the U-Haul, whom police have not identified but have said was in a relationship with King, was able to get free of the vehicle. The woman is from Medway and King, whose hometown was not available, had been staying in the area for the last couple of months, McCausland said.

The woman is cooperating with police, officials said.

The couple had been at a motel in Medway shortly before the U-Haul was stopped. King did not offer much information about himself when he checked into the motel last week, a worker there said Tuesday.

The couple came to the River’s Edge Motel & Pizza in Medway on March 1 reportedly dressed as and claiming to be newlyweds. King wore a tuxedo and the woman was in a wedding gown, said several workers at the establishment, who declined to identify themselves. King offered documentation verifying the marriage but the workers declined to examine it, they said.

King said that he had a home in Medway and that the couple would be headed for Vermont, workers said

A taxi dropped off the couple. They stayed at the motel for three days before checking out, then called later last week to book another room for a week. The couple returned in a car last Thursday, left a day later, and revisited the motel several times Saturday and Sunday but did not appear to stay overnight on the weekend, workers said.

They refused all maid service, explaining that they would be cleaning the room themselves. Their only room service request was for two large garbage bags. They paid their bill with cash, workers said.

Workers who already had found the couple’s behavior suspicious had their misgivings further aroused when police called on Monday afternoon looking for the couple. One worker told police that the couple had a U-Haul. The woman sought a return of their weeklong reservation payment and didn’t complain when the request was refused, workers said.

By then, workers said, the couple had gone from appearing to be happily married to seeming nervous. King, they said, paced in the parking lot, and the woman spent much of Sunday talking on her phone.

State police detectives visited the River’s Edge on Tuesday before heading to the Gateway Inn, which is in Medway near the I-95 exit. Police said they searched River’s Edge and Gateway because the couple had stayed at both places.

East Millinocket and Lincoln police were among several local departments that assisted state police and county authorities with the investigation.

King has several aliases, according to a background check done by the BDN through the Maine State Bureau of Identification. He was arrested on a felony burglary charge on May 14, 1981, and charged with escape seven days later. He was charged with theft by receiving stolen property in December 1999 and burglary in February 2003.

He was convicted of all four felony crimes and was sentenced to 18 months for the burglary, one year for the escape, three years for the theft and four years for the 2003 burglary, the background check shows.

Lewis’ background check report is 17 pages long. His first offense, a disorderly conduct, was recorded in October 1970 and resulted in a $500 fine. The next year he was arrested and convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, and shortly after his 30 days in the county jail, Lewis was arrested for aggravated assault, for which he served two years in prison.

A January 1974 armed robbery in Lewiston earned him a sentence of five years in prison, and a Waterville assault arrest in March 1988 sent him to the county lockup for 364 days.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct in May 1992 followed by the December 1992 arrest for gross sexual assault. The trial took place four years later.

Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney John Pluto, who was the prosecutor in Lewis’ 1996 trial on gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact charges involving a 9-year-old boy who was living in Lewis’ household, recalled Tuesday that the sexual abuse occurred “over a space of time” while Lewis was residing with a girlfriend in Fort Kent.

Fort Kent police Chief Kenneth Michaud said Tuesday that he could not provide many specifics about Lewis’ criminal background but said that he was well known to law enforcement officers in Fort Kent, where Lewis was known by the nickname “Fat Man.”

The Fort Kent Police Department’s first contact with Lewis involved his disorderly conduct arrest in May of 1992.

Michaud said that he recently learned from a relative of Lewis’ former Fort Kent girlfriend that Lewis had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Relatives of Lewis, including a woman who identified herself as his daughter and a man whom neighbors said was his son, gathered outside his house just before the press conference. They declined to comment.

Lewis’ home had six American flags on it and in the yard, ranging from a small plastic marker near the driveway to a large flag hanging near the peak of the house. The porch had what looked like three brand-new exterior doors on it. Lewis’ vehicle did not appear to be at the house.

“He kept to himself,” said Robbie McKay, who lives near Lewis’ house. “Most people knew he was a registered sex offender.”

When asked if that accounted for the distance between Lewis and his neighbors, McKay answered, “I think so.” ..Source.. by Nok-Noi Ricker and Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff


Affidavit: Convicted sex offender in Molunkus was forced to take fatal overdose


LINCOLN, Maine — A man who committed suicide on Interstate 95 on March 11 told police during the standoff leading up to his death that he killed Lawrence Lewis of Molunkus Township because the convicted sex offender was molesting children, court documents show.

Bruce Heal, aka Bruce King, told Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Patty McLaughlin shortly before he shot himself with a .30-30 rifle that he forced Lewis to swallow two bottles of nitroglycerin and one bottle of “psych meds,” according to a search warrant affidavit released Wednesday at Lincoln District Court.

“King told Deputy McLaughlin that he killed Lawrence Lewis. King said he had reported Lewis for molesting children and no one was doing anything,” the affidavit states.

A state police spokesman said he “lacked specifics” on whether King, 59, had made any report to authorities about Lewis or whether police were investigating Lewis for any recent sex offense.

The 68-year-old Lewis was on the state’s sex offender registry for life after having been convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy who lived in the same household, according to Bangor Daily News archives.

State police found Lewis’ body in his Macwahoc Road residence the evening of March 11. Investigators await a report from the Maine State Medical Examiner’s Office on the cause of Lewis’ death, said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The determination could take months, McCausland has said.

“The investigation into this entire incident is not over and a key factor in that is conclusions from the medical examiner’s office,” McCausland said Wednesday.

State police typically investigate sex offenses such as child molestation based on accusations reported directly to them or referrals from other agencies.

Though most often referred to as Bruce King, the man who committed suicide also had several aliases, including Bruce Heal, state police have said. A typographical error in the police affidavit referred to him as Bruce Neal.

Heal or King was involved in a four-hour standoff with police on March 11 that began when officers pulled over the U-Haul truck that his wife of 10 days, Lynda Dube, was driving and in which he was riding.

She fled the U-Haul truck after police pulled them over just south of Exit 227 near Lincoln.

Dube, 43, of Mattawamkeag, divorced William Fogg in February and changed back to her maiden name, according to court documents filed in Penobscot County. State police have identified Dube as Lynda Fogg.

According to the search warrant affidavit, Dube told police that officers pulled them over after the couple had left the River View Motel. King and Dube had been there to collect money for a prepaid reservation they were not going to use.

They had stayed at the River View two nights before but spent March 10 at the Gateway Motel in Medway because it was dog friendly, the affidavit states.

King saw a police officer “and he started to freak out. King held a gun to Fogg and told her to keep driving or he would kill her,” the affidavit states. Dube told investigators that “King had said in the past on several occasions that King was going to kill Lewis.”

“King knew that Lewis was molesting children,” the affidavit states.

Dube and King had been living with Lewis until about three weeks before Lewis’ death, when Lewis asked the couple to leave, the affidavit states.

Police went to Lewis’ home and found his body inside, but investigators already knew that Lewis was missing. They had apparently already begun looking for him because Lewis’ son, David Lewis, reported him missing earlier on March 11.

David Lewis had told police that his father had told him, possibly during a conversation that occurred March 7, that he feared that a “hit” had been placed on him after it had become known that he was a registered sex offender.

David Lewis told police that he lost contact with his father after trying to call him repeatedly on March 7 and March 8 before visiting the house March 9. He said he found his father’s medications, shoes, hat and jacket “all in their place in the home,” the affidavit states.

Two dogs were inside the house – including one that David Lewis believed might belong to King — and large bowls of food and water were left out for them, the affidavit states.

“Even though David was concerned, he thought his father had left the area for a bit so David left the residence,” the affidavit states.

Lewis repeatedly called his father through March 10-11 and returned on the afternoon of March 11, several hours before King’s suicide. Lewis noticed someone had been inside the house, the dogs were gone, and he saw no sign of his father. He then reported this to state police, the affidavit states.

Dube and David Lewis have declined to comment. ..Source.. by Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

Deaths of sex offenders take turn to bizarre


A convicted rapist who confessed last week to killing his former roommate, another sex offender, and then killed himself was under investigation because of an allegation that he sexually assaulted a young girl late last year.

Bruce King, 59, also known as Bruce Neal, was scheduled to meet with a detective on March 11 to discuss the allegation. That day, he killed himself in a U-Haul truck that police pulled over on Interstate 95 near Lincoln.

Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Thursday that King was first interviewed by police in January about the sexual assault allegation. He told investigators that it was his former roommate, Lawrence Lewis, 68, who assaulted the girl. The allegation was never substantiated.

Lewis's body was found in his run-down home on Route 2 in Molunkus Township around the time King killed himself on the interstate after a four-hour standoff with police.

Before he took his own life, King told Penobscot County Sheriff's Deputy Patty McLaughlin that he had killed Lewis by forcing him to overdose on prescription medication, according to a police affidavit.

Medical examiners did an autopsy on Lewis last week but did not release the cause of his death because tests are still being done.

McCausland said last week, when the investigation into the men's deaths began, that the case would be drawn-out and complicated. Affidavits filed this week in Lincoln and Houlton district courts, coupled with new information from police, explain more about the bizarre series of events.

McCausland said police have been looking into other claims about King and Lewis. If any of those claims are substantiated, he said, the case could be further complicated. He would not elaborate on what those claims are.

The incident on March 11 started when police stopped a southbound U-Haul truck driven by a woman on I-95. Lynda Fogg, 43, of Mattawakeag – also known as Lynda Dube and Lynda Gordon – got out of the truck and told police that King, who was in the passenger seat, had been holding a gun on her.

An affidavit says Deputy McLaughlin talked to King by cellphone. During that conversation, King said he had killed Lewis, his former roommate, because Lewis was molesting children and nobody was doing anything about it.

The affidavit says a man identified as Mark Vieria told police that King told him he had found pictures and videos of Lewis engaged in sex acts with children. The affidavit does not say how Vieria knew King. McCausland said he doesn't know what their relationship was.

Lewis was convicted in 1992 of raping a 9-year-old boy. He served several years in prison but had not been suspected in any sex crimes since then, McCausland said. He said police have not found evidence supporting Vieira's account.

Among the items that police found in searches of Lewis's home and the U-Haul truck was a laptop computer, in the truck. The affidavit does not indicate whose computer it was, but McCausland said investigators will search it to determine whether it contains any evidence of sexual abuse.

King was convicted of rape and is listed as a registered sex offender in Massachusetts. Maine State Police did not have information about King's crime, but the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board's website lists a Bruce King who was convicted of rape in Salem, Mass., in 1985.

He was registered as a Level 3 sex offender, someone who poses "a high risk to reoffend and ... the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active community notification."

The Essex County District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts could not immediately provide details about King's conviction.

Police are still trying to figure out how long King was in Maine. "We think it's been a few years, and one assumption is that he came here to hide," McCausland said.

King was not on Maine's sex offender registry, even though he was required to notify Maine authorities within 24 hours when he moved here. He also was in violation of Massachusetts law, which requires sex offenders to verify their residency in person at least once a year.

Police say King had been living with Lewis since last year. Fogg moved into the house recently. King and Fogg got married on March 1.

A police affidavit indicates that Lewis asked the couple to leave at some point. They stayed at two motels in the area in the days before the men died.

Police got a missing-person complaint from Lewis's son, David Lewis, on the day Lewis's body was found. The younger Lewis had last spoken to his father on March 7, and during that conversation, the father said he was worried that "a hit" had been placed on him because he was a sex offender.

David Lewis tried calling his father for several days, without success, then went to the house to look for him. The son didn't find his father inside but did find two dogs. When he came back two days later, the dogs were gone, the affidavit says.

During that time, King and Lewis were staying at the River's Edge Motel in Medway. Employees there have said the couple acted strangely during their stay and insisted on absolute privacy.

The couple also spent one night at the Gateway Inn in Medway. Employees there said King and Lewis had two dogs.

King and Lewis left the Gateway Inn on that Monday, March 11, as police were starting to investigate Lewis's disappearance.

An affidavit indicates that police showed up at the motel around the time the couple were leaving. Fogg told police that when King saw a police car he "started to freak out." She said he held a gun to her head and told her to drive or he would kill her.

Fogg also told police that King had said in the past that he planned to kill Lewis. She said she knew King was a sex offender but had not registered in Maine.

King and Lewis had criminal histories dating back decades. It does not appear that they ever were incarcerated in Maine at the same time, and it's not known how they met.

According to available records, Lewis served time from July 1997 to October 2002, and King was in prison from April 2003 to September 2006, said Scott Fish, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. ..Source.. by Eric Russell

State police: Man who said he killed Molunkus sex offender was being investigated for sex offense


AUGUSTA, Maine – The man who committed suicide after telling police that he had killed a convicted sex offender was himself a sex offender in Massachusetts who might have been trying to draw attention away from himself, state police said Thursday.

Bruce King, aka Bruce Heal, was convicted of rape on May 10, 1985, according to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board. He apparently had been living in Maine illegally and knew he had been named a suspect in a sex offense complaint filed in the name of a young Maine girl in January when he accused Lawrence Lewis of having committed a sex offense, said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

“The allegations involving Lewis from King and against King himself — neither one of those allegations have been verified,” McCausland said Thursday, “but a complaint had come forward from a young girl that King had molested her and King denied it and pointed the finger at Lewis.”

“One assumption that we have is that King may have come to Maine to hide,” McCausland added.

McCausland, who said Maine State Police had “just confirmed” King’s sex offender listing in Massachusetts earlier Thursday morning, added that King’s wife of 10 days, Lynda Dube, told police that King told her that he was an unregistered sex offender.

Thursday morning’s revelations came amid the ongoing state police investigation of the death of Lewis, 68, of Molunkus Township.

“There are a number of questions that we still have to find answers to,” McCausland said, adding that “no additional victims have come forward” to claim being assaulted by King or Lewis.

King told Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Patty McLaughlin on March 11 that he had killed Lewis, his former housemate, by forcing him to swallow two bottles of Lewis’ prescribed nitroglycerin and one bottle of “psych meds,” according to a search warrant affidavit released Wednesday at Lincoln District Court.

“King told Deputy McLaughlin that he killed Lawrence Lewis. King said he had reported Lewis for molesting children and no one was doing anything,” the affidavit states.

King then shot himself with a .30-30 rifle that had been given to him by Dube, who had divorced William Fogg. Fogg’s father said that Fogg told him that he had given her the rifle.

Before his death, King complained to Dube that he had reported Lewis for some form of sexual offense and had told another man, Marc Vieira, “of videos and pictures depicting Lawrence engaged in sexual acts with minors at Lewis’ home,” according to the affidavit.

Vieira said Thursday that Dube told him of seeing Lewis “burning a bunch of [pictures depicting the sexual acts] …throwing pictures in the wood stove and saying ‘God, please forgive me.’ Bruce mentioned that, too.”

State police found no evidence at Lewis’ home backing that allegation, McCausland said.

Vieira said he was surprised to hear that King, whom he knew as Bruce Heal, had a criminal past. A neighbor of Lewis, Vieira met King about six months ago, shortly after King started living with Dube, and until about two months ago King was a twice- or thrice-daily visitor to the Vieira home, he said.

Vieira said King did odd jobs for him — cutting firewood and grass — in exchange for money. Vieira described himself as totally disabled due to diabetes and other ailments. King would sometimes bring pastries over for Vieira and Vieira’s girlfriend, he said.

“He was a good guy. The story he gave me, of course, was a lot different from the truth,” Vieira said Thursday. “I just looked at him as a guy down on his luck.”

Lewis’ history was no mystery, Vieira said. The 68-year-old Lewis was on the state’s sex offender registry for life after having been convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy who lived in the same household, according to Bangor Daily News archives.

State police found Lewis’ body in his Macwahoc Road residence the evening of March 11.

Lewis’ son David told police that his father told him on March 7, the last time David Lewis heard from his father, that his father feared that a hit had been put out on him because word had gotten around that he was a sex offender.

Neighbors of Lewis have said that Lewis’ criminal background was well-known to them. They and workers at a general store near his house said that Lewis was known to hang out with others who were sex offenders in a crowd that kept largely to itself.

“Larry was a poor thing. He couldn’t take care of himself over there. He was just old,” said Vieira, who described himself as a distant acquaintance of Lewis. “He couldn’t fill the wood stove to keep the heat going in there. Bruce would load up the stove for Larry. He always made sure he took care of Larry.”

But King wasn’t fond of living with Lewis, said Vieira, who sympathized with his friend’s predicament.

“When you got no place to go, what else can you do? It is what it is,” Vieira said.

The alleged young victim of King reported the allegation to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office in January, McCausland said. The department interviewed King and it was then, McCausland said, that “King pointed the finger at Lewis.”

On the day of King’s suicide, Dube told police that the couple was leaving a Medway motel when King saw a police officer ― apparently investigating the disappearance of Lewis ― and pointed the rifle at her. He ordered her to drive and said he would kill her if she didn’t comply, the affidavit states.

Motel workers have said that Dube showed no signs of being held hostage during her stay at the motel, being seen with King frequently but not saying anything to anyone. One man said that Dube exited the vehicle they were in and berated King when he struck up a conversation outside a local gas station.

Dube and King arrived at the motel on March 1 and acted like the newlyweds they were, happy and enjoying champagne. By the end of their second stay at the hotel, over the weekend of March 9, they had appeared worried and had kept to themselves, motel workers said.

King, Lewis and Dube had been roommates for several months at Lewis’ home in Molunkus Township. King and Dube had moved out at Lewis’ request three or four weeks ago, state police have said.

The allegation against King was referred to the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Health and Human Services tendered appropriate aid to the young girl, McCausland said. He declined to provide details of the allegation.

The Massachusetts offender registry lists King as a Level 3 Sex Offender, someone deemed “to have a high risk to reoffend and that the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active community notification.” Details of his crime were not available on the registry.

The listing also describes King as being “in violation,” apparently for leaving Massachusetts without permission. It was unclear when he left.

These are among many questions state police hope to answer before the end of what McCausland has warned will be a lengthy and very complex investigation.

Of prime interest, McCausland has said, is whether the Maine medical examiner’s office can determine whether Lewis died the way King said he did. That examination is ongoing and might take months to resolve, McCausland said.

“We are seeking the answers, all of which will take time to gather,” McCausland said.

Dube, who McCausland has said has cooperated with investigators, has declined to comment, as have members of Lewis’ family and William Fogg, who lives in Mattawamkeag. by Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

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