North Pond Hermit Will Not Have To Pay Restitution To State Police
The Maine Supreme Court ruled this week that the man known as the North Pond Hermit will not have to pay restitution to the Maine State Police for a damaged road.
Christopher Knight is doing well at rebuilding his life after the discovery of his isolated encampment forced him back into civilization. For 27 years, the now-fifty-year-old man lived deep in the woods near Rome, Maine in total seclusion. He survived by breaking into people's camps, and even the Pine Tree Camp for Children and Adults with Disabilities, to steal everything from food, to clothes, to propane tanks.
Since April of 2013, when he was caught while stealing food from the Pine Tree Camp and his bunker was revealed, he's spent time in jail, received counseling, become employed, and paid restitution to some of the victims of his thefts. The only item left to resolve was whether he was responsible for paying restitution to the Maine State Police for repairs to a camp road they damaged while investigating and dismantling the wooded residence. His attorneys argued that Knight shouldn't be held responsible for paying the police for doing their job. He never used the camp road, and so shouldn't be responsible for its repair.
This week, Maine Supreme Court justices rendered their 4-2 decision that Knight is not responsible for covering those costs. In their ruling, the justices stated that since the MSP 'is not a statutorily eligible recipient of restitution' they were vacating the original order. He had originally been ordered to pay the State Police $1,125 to reimburse them for the cost of fixing the road.