Prosecutors have dropped their case against a Buxton man – one of three people accused of a home invasion on April 11 – after his attorney said she was able to prove his alibi.
Amy Fairfield, the attorney for Michael Crockett Jr., 30, said she received notice Friday that the York County District Attorney’s Office had filed a formal dismissal of the case against her client because of insufficient evidence.
It took less than two weeks after Crockett’s arrest for the case against him to fall apart. Crockett lived in the woods for several days after he was identified as a suspect. He surrendered to police on May 18.
Fairfield negotiated Crockett’s surrender with William L. King Jr., chief deputy of the York County Sheriff’s Office, with assurances that Crockett would not be hurt.
Fairfield said Crockett was shocked when Buxton police named him as a suspect following the arrests of two other people because he had been in Portland on the night of the home invasion. She said he decided to hide because he did not trust the police.
“We worked really hard to prove his alibi, and in the process we proved the alibis of the other two,” Fairfield said Friday.
Buxton police first arrested Stacey Day, 35, of Buxton and Gregory Hoar, 29, of Gorham on May 15 on charges of robbery and aggravated assault. At the time, police announced they also had a warrant for Crockett’s arrest on the same charges and asked for the public’s help in finding him.
The story of Crockett’s surrender gained attention because of his unusual demands. Crockett agreed to turn himself in only if the officers gave him Mountain Dew and chocolate milk. Officers reported that he was covered with ticks and mosquito bites from his time in the woods, and was unshaven, thirsty and hungry.
Fairfield said Crockett had extensive proof that he could not have committed the home invasion, including multiple witnesses, phone messages and video evidence that he was in Portland. She said Crockett was at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Portland on the evening of the home invasion, and went to a coffee shop, fast food restaurant and pool hall in Portland until about 11 p.m.
The home invasion took place sometime after 9 p.m. on April 11. Police were called to the Buxton home of 60-year-old Deborah Nielson following a break-in. Nielson told police that she had interrupted three people who were stealing items from her house. She was tied up and assaulted by the three, who took cash and fled. She suffered facial bruises and cuts.
Nielson offered a $500 reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.
Fairfield said that as a private investigator for her law firm was investigating Crockett’s alibi, he also discovered that phone and online records showed that Day was at her own home on the night of the invasion and had even ordered pizza to be delivered to her home around that time. The private investigator also found that Hoar was at his mother’s home at the time of the home invasion, she said.
The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney John Connelly, did not return a message left with his office seeking comment.
Crockett was released on bail two days after his arrest and remains free.
Fairfield said that to her knowledge the district attorney’s office has not dismissed the cases against Day and Hoar.
Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: