One suspect in death of dog free on bail

Nathan Burke

ELLSWORTH — While two men charged in the kidnapping of a dog that was later found dead appeared in court Wednesday, only one is free on bail.

Both men have been charged with one count each of aggravated cruelty to animals, aggravated criminal mischief, burglary, theft and unauthorized use of property.

Nathan Burke, 37, of Hancock is free on $1,000 cash bail, which Justice Michael Roberts set Wednesday.

Roberts also set bail for Justin T. Chipman, 22, of Steuben and Winter Harbor, at $1,000 cash.

Chipman had been on “administrative release” in connection with a terrorizing conviction. A condition of his release is that Chipman not commit any new criminal conduct.

Administrative release is similar to probation, said District Attorney Matt Foster.

Deputy District Attorney Toff Toffolon argued in court that Chipman should be held without bail pending a hearing to revoke his “administrative release.”

The terrorizing conviction can be considered a “violent” offense, said Toffolon, who added, “Now he’s alleged to have committed a new crime of violence.”

Attorney of the day William Ashe represented Chipman.

Ashe told the judge that $1,000 cash bail was sufficient for both the new charges and the motion to revoke “administrative release,” but the judge did not agree.

Roberts ruled that Chipman should be held without bail until a hearing can be held to consider whether administrative release should be revoked. That hearing has been set for Sept. 25.

Ellsworth attorney Jeff Toothaker represents Burke and advised that the $1,000 cash bail was sufficient.

“He turned himself in Tuesday and told the DA he would be here,” Toothaker said. “If anything threats would make him want to stay home.”

Police said Burke and Chipman burglarized the home of a Winter Harbor man and kidnapped his dog, a Boston terrier-pug mix named Franky, which was later found dead. The dog’s body, which had been wrapped in plastic, floated to Foster’s shorefront property.

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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