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Judge Nancy Mills, of Maine Superior Court, ordered Christopher Knight, 47, to check in weekly with the court to confirm that he is either working full time, attend schooling or volunteering, and undergoing mental health counseling for a year to ensure a "successful" return to the community.
"This is someone who has had no involvement with anybody for 27 years," Knight's lawyer, Walter McKee, said. "It's a very unique case, a very unique sentence for a very unique person."
Knight said he walked into the woods in 1986 shortly after he heard about the Chernobyl nuclear accident and claims to have had little human contact since.
He pleaded guilty on Monday to 13 counts of burglary and theft, and was returned to jail to await his release when terms of the agreement are finalized.
Knight was arrested in April after police said they caught him stealing food and supplies he needed to survive from a summer camp for the disabled along North Pond about 20 miles west of Maine's capital of Augusta.
Gaunt and pale with a full beard, Knight listened quietly as Mills asked if he understood he would be required to tell his court-appointed case manager "the truth" in order to receive the best rehabilitation treatment possible.
"Who will decide what is the truth?" Knight replied.
McKee said Knight poses no threat to society, but it was still unclear where he would reside upon release.
It is unwritten yet heavily enforced via making examples and casting negative light on this man and those like him.To me his theft crimes are petty,and yes, I would say the same if I were one whose property was broken into. Nothing on a small scale that those who point fingers of authority and accusation do not do on a grand scale. I too,envy him. But I know for sure,this reintegration might as well be a death sentence. Sickening.
I find this to be disgusting. I have never seen any law saying that a person MUST participate in society. To force this man to is criminal.