Status conferences scheduled for accused dog killers



ELLSWORTH — Two men accused in the death of Franky, a Boston terrier-pug, are scheduled for dispositional conferences Thursday, March 21, according to District Attorney Matt Foster.

Nathan Burke, 37, of Hancock and Justin T. Chipman, 22, of Steuben have each been charged with one count each of aggravated cruelty to animals, aggravated criminal mischief, burglary, theft and unauthorized use of property.

Foster explained that a dispositional conference is a required hearing under Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure.

“The hearing is basically a time for the prosecution and the defense to attempt to resolve the case with the court’s assistance,” the prosecutor said.

Back to the details of the case.

Winter Harbor Police Officer Eli Brown said Burke and Chipman last August burglarized the home of a Winter Harbor man and kidnapped his dog Franky, who was later found dead.

In an extraordinary coincidence, Franky’s body, which had been wrapped in plastic, washed up on Foster’s shorefront property in Hancock Aug. 30. Brown stated in an affidavit that Franky had been shot in the throat.

The burglary and kidnapping occurred Aug. 24 at the Winter Harbor residence of Phil Torrey.

Officer Brown said Torrey’s former sternman, Burke, and Chipman entered Torrey’s home, kidnapped Franky and took Torrey’s Hummer for a ride to a gravel pit, according to the affidavit.

After Brown’s investigation, warrants for Burke and Chipman’s arrests were issued. The two turned themselves in to the Hancock County Jail on Sept. 4.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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