A Somerset County grand jury indicted Christopher T. Knight, commonly known as the North Pond Hermit, on one count each of burglary and theft Thursday.

The indictment was on charges Knight burglarized a Smithfield home on April 26, 2012, and stole food and alcohol. He is scheduled for arraignment on that charge 8:30 a.m. Aug. 14 in Skowhegan.

Knight, 47, formerly of Albion, has been jailed since April 4 when he was arrested as he left the Pine Tree Camp dining hall in Rome about 1 a.m., laden with food and tools.

He told authorities at that time he had been living in the woods near North Pond for almost three decades, breaking into surrounding camps and homes to get everything he needed to survive and avoiding contact with people. He led investigators to his heavily camouflaged campsite in Rome. North Pond straddles Kennebec and Somerset counties and is bordered by Mercer, Rome and Smithfield.

In addition to the charges he was on indicted on Thursday, Knight also is charged with the April 4 burglary and theft and Pine Tree Camp and a burglary and theft that occurred last fall at the camp, as well as a break-in at a home nearby. He has not been charged — and probably won’t be — in connection with hundreds of additional burglaries because of the statute of limitations.

Knight’s story of surviving alone so long in the Maine woods and burglarizing camps for supplies attracted worldwide media attention and some sympathy, but some victims of the burglaries have said they feel more secure this summer knowing a suspect is behind bars.

Knight’s attorney, Walter McKee, who also represents him on two separate charges of burglary and theft in Kennebec County, has said he is in discussions with the Kennebec/Somerset district attorney’s office to resolve the cases prior to trial.

McKee said today, “Nothing has changed with the case. We remain in discussions about a resolution of all of Mr. Knight’s cases, and I am confident that this case will be resolved before the end of the summer.”

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said today, “We are close to settlement, and I believe we will settle this in August.”

She said prosecutors presented the case in Somerset County this month because the grand jury there meets so infrequently and they wanted to preserve the charge. Even though Knight has waived his speedy trial rights and indictment, she said a judge is not bound to accept that.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

In May, Maloney said she had talked to McKee and agreed not to present the case against Knight to a Kennebec County grand jury at that time. McKee, meanwhile, had agreed to waive speedy trial concerns.

They said they were awaiting results of a mental health evaluation of Knight. That evaluation by the State Forensic Service has been completed.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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