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  • Tammy L Wells

Scene from TV show ‘Wild Crime” shot at historic York County Court House

ALFRED, Maine – The setting is a court room, where a man charged with murder is about to be arraigned. There is a judge on the bench, a gallery full of onlookers, and all the players – bailiffs, prosecutors, defense counsel, law enforcement – and the alleged perpetrator, poised to make his plea.


But he doesn’t – he instead leaps over a barrier into the gallery, and is tackled and taken to the floor by security staff and law enforcement.


Pretty dramatic stuff.


The scene itself isn’t real. It is part of a television episode in the Wild Crime series, a production of ABC News and Lone Wolf Media, slated to begin its fourth season on Hulu later this year.


The courtroom scene is set in a location familiar to many:  the stately York County Court House in Alfred.


The scene was shot June 19, when the county-owned building that houses the registries of deeds and probate, the York County Probate Court and other functions was closed for the Juneteenth holiday. And because the state courts have been consolidated in a new building in Biddeford, the large second floor courtroom was available.


Lone Wolf Media is based in South Portland, so when producers were looking for an available courtroom, they approached the Maine Administrative Office of the Courts for advice.


“They pointed us here,” said producer Noah Keates.


“I met with Noah and walked the building, and they loved the space,” said York County Facilities Manager Rick deRochemont. “The county welcomes the opportunity to showcase the amazing building and all of its history.”


With the state courts now located in Biddeford, much, but not all, of the second floor space is slated to be leased, deRochemont noted.


“The courtroom and law library will remain as is for various events like mock court for schools, large meetings, and filming if the opportunity arises in the future,” deRochemont said.

 

Those familiar with Wild Crime know it is a true crime series, with episodes taking place in national parks and forests or other wilderness areas.

 

Lone Wolf Media operations manager Tracey Costa said Wild Crime productions adhere to journalistic standards.

 

Producers interview primary investigators, said Costa.

 

This particular Wild Crime did not take place in York County, and so the scenes filmed at the courthouse, and at York County Jail earlier in the day, are not specific to the location of the crime.


“We’re doing recreations of what happened in the story,” Costa explained prior to the shooting of the courtroom scene.


As the suspect leapt over the barrier, those in the gallery who had signed on as extras screamed on cue.


The crime being featured – well, wait and see.


Maria Skillings, a digital content producer for NewsCenter Maine by day, has a background in theater and film as well as journalism, and said she has been called by Lone Wolf Media on other occasions when there are roles available.


“I tried out for the FBI agent (role),” she said – she and got it.


On the bench was Jack Melanson, a retired administrative law judge for the U.S. Social Security Administration, who also has a background in criminal law and as a prosecutor.

A consultant with Lone Wolf Media, Melanson scrutinized the courtroom and advised on how the props had been set up, noting that a fan wouldn’t’ be on the table where the defense counsel and suspect sat – nor would a pen, or “anything that could be used as a weapon,” he said.


Donning a judicial robe, Melanson stepped into his role, and the scene began.


Lone Wolf Media has been making documentaries for 27 years,. In addition to Wild Crime, Lone Wolf Media wrote and produced The War on Disco, featured on PBS’s The American Experience, among other productions.


As yet no airdate has been scheduled for the episode containing the scenes shot in Alfred, but producers said the fourth season of the Wild Crime series begins in late fall.

 

 



This courtroom scene is not real – it is part of an episode of Wild Crime, a Lone Wolf Media and ABC News series, shot at York County Court House in Alfred on June 19. The fourth season of the true crime anthology airs on Hulu later this year.

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