November 30, 2012

Norridgewock man pleads guilty to taking hostage in Jay mill

By Kaitlin Schroeder
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — A Norridgewock man pleaded guilty this morning to kidnapping and other charges that he took a hostage at a Jay paper mill in March.

The man, Francis Smith III, 51, held a paper mill manager hostage for more than 6 hours on March 14 at Smith Verso Paper's Androscoggin Mill in Jay.

Smith plead guilty to kidnapping, criminal threatening, terrorizing and assault in Franklin County Superior Court.  He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but will serve five with the other years suspended. Upon he release he was order to serve six years probation.

The mill manager reported that he recalled three different moments when he thought he was going to be killed.

Smith’s lawyer, Walter McKee, said Smith was severely depressed about losing his job at the  mill after working there for almost 25 years. McKee said Smith intended to kill himself at the mill to show the manager the pain he felt.

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