An Abbot man who led police on the longest manhunt in state history this past summer pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of murder in connection with the June 5 shooting death of his former girlfriend.

Robert Burton, 38, is charged with murder in the death of Stephanie Gebo in the town of Parkman in Piscataquis County. He was indicted by a Piscataquis County grand jury in October. Burton, 38, also entered a plea Monday of not guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Burton is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have a gun.

Burton was in Piscataquis County Superior Court in Dover-Foxcroft briefly Monday for his arraignment. Burton is represented by court-appointed lawyer Jeffrey Toothaker, of Ellsworth. Toothaker could not be reached for comment Monday.

Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said Monday the next court date has not been set. Burton is being held without bail.

Gebo, 37, a single mother of two, was shot to death with a pistol. 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.

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.


There also was an apparent bullet hole in the bathroom ceiling and another hole in a pillow that was consistent with the passage of a bullet. Investigators also found black duct tape similar to duct tape found in Burton’s backpack wrapped around Gebo’s wrist. Burton’s father, Roger, told police that he spoke with his son on June 4, and the younger Burton was upset and “at the end of his rope,” saying he had discovered messages on Gebo’s old phone and he suspected she was cheating on him.

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

He was on the run for 68 days before turning himself in Aug. 11.

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.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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