Robert Burton, of Abbot, who led police on the state’s longest ever manhunt this summer, has been indicted by a Piscataquis County grand jury on a charge of murder in connection with the death of Stephanie Gebo.

The indictment on the murder charge and a second one on a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person — Burton is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have a gun — were handed up Thursday.

Gebo, 37, a single mother of two, was shot to death June 5 at her home in Parkman. She had broken up with Burton a week earlier and was so afraid of him that she had changed the house locks and slept with a handgun under her pillow, police said. Gebo’s fear for herself and her children was recounted in an affidavit written by state police Detective Thomas Pickering.

Burton’s lawyer, Jeffrey Toothaker, of Ellsworth, said an arraignment is expected in November, when Burton will enter a not guilty plea. No date has been set.

“I imagine this will go to trial at some point next spring,” he said.

The charge against Burton — intentional or knowing murder — is a class A felony punishable by 25 years to life in prison. Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Burton is not allowed to use or possess a firearm because of a felony conviction for burglary in 2003. The gun was a pistol, according to the indictment.

Toothaker said he has been provided with only about 500 pages of discovery documents, detailing only some of the state’s charges against Burton.

“I don’t know a lot of the specifics that they have,” he said Thursday by cellphone. “I’ve talked with him, and I know what he says happened. I think you’ll find that it was her gun. We haven’t discussed much about the specifics yet. I’m waiting to see what the police have.”

Gebo’s children told police that Burton had lived with them at 46 Kulas Road in Parkman for about two years and that he had moved out May 31 to live with his parents.

Assistant Attorney General John Alsop is prosecuting the case.

Burton remains held without bail at the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft.

Gebo was killed the day after Burton’s probation had ended on a domestic violence conviction that sent him to prison for 10 years.

Burton was on the run 68 days, making it one of the longest manhunts in state history. Authorities think he had been living in the woods before he gave himself up at the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department, saying he was afraid he was going to be shot.

According to the affidavit, Detective Micah Perkins found four shell casings from a 9 mm handgun and an open window in the bedroom where Gebo’s body was found. Medical Examiner Margaret Greenwald, who conducted the autopsy on Gebo on June 7, found multiple gunshot wounds to the lungs, spinal area and trachea and determined the death was a homicide.

Electronic signs were erected this summer on roads leading to the Parkman/Guilford area alerting visitors to the fact that a fugitive was at large in the area. “Manhunt underway,” the bulbs spelled out. “Call 911 with tips.”

Residents, visitors and business owners up and down state Route 150 from Athens, in Somerset County, to Guilford, 25 miles north in Piscataquis County, were jittery. Doors were locked at night where they never were before. Business traffic was down and people were scared.

All that changed and business traffic resumed after Burton turned himself in Aug. 11.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.