BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Maine State Police by two women who were victims of a shooting rampage in Benedicta in July 2015.
Brittany and Kim Irish filed the lawsuit, which claims that state police failed to protect them against Anthony Lord, after setting in motion the events that led him to allegedly go on a shooting rampage.
Lord is accused of setting the Irish family's barn on fire and then breaking into their home several hours later with guns blazing. Both women were hurt in that shooting. Brittany's boyfriend Kyle Hewitt was shot and killed. His estate is also listed in the lawsuit as a plaintiff.
After the fire, the Irish family says they begged state police to leave an officer at the house but police refused.
The lawsuit also claims that Lord went on the shooting rampage because detectives told him that very same day that Brittany had accused him of rape.
"The judge said in his written decision that he found the facts in this case compelling," said David Van Dyke, attorney for the Irish family.
While U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock did find the facts compelling, he also determined police could not be held liable for Lord's actions and acted appropriately in questioning him about the rape allegations.
"Seeking to interview Mr. Lord, an alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault, was a necessary law enforcement tool and is not a basis to impose constitutional liability on the state police officer," Woodcock wrote in his decision. "Indeed, for those officers not to investigate these accusations would be a dereliction of their duties as law enforcement."
The Irish family did not want to comment on the dismissal of the lawsuit. Van Dyke is filing an appeal.
The Maine Attorney General's Office, on behalf of state police, also declined to comment on the motion due to that pending appeal.