CALAIS – After the first court appearance of a Northfield man accused in the shooting deaths of three people he knew from Washington County, his defense attorney released some details.
Triple murder suspect Thomas Bonfanti, 63, was not asked Wednesday morning to enter a plea since his case has not yet been presented to the grand jury.
At the same time he was in court, a fourth shooting victim continued to fight for her life at a hospital in Portland, according to friend Phebe Mcgraw; who is from Jonesboro, but lives in Bangor.
“The defendant has been arrested. He’s currently charged by complaint with three counts of murder and one count of elevated aggravated assault for the incidents that are alleged to have occurred in Machias over the last few days,” Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting the case, said outside of the courthouse.
Police say Bonfanti shot and killed three people: Machias residents Shawn Currey, 57, and Jennifer Bryant-Flynn, 49, and Jonesboro resident Samuel Powers, 33.
He also reportedly shot Regina (Hall) Long. Long’s friend said she was shot three times and was flown by LifeFlight helicopter from Bangor to a hospital in Portland where she is listed in critical condition. Mcgraw said Long and Currey were dating.
“It would appear as the multiple victims were familiar with one another and with Mr. Bonfanti,” said Jeffrey Silverstein, who is Bonfanti’s court-appointed attorney. “He was familiar with them.”
Bonfanti was arrested outside the American Legion in Machias at around 11:15 a.m. Monday morning.
“It would appear as if there is some related circumstances involving the American Legion and some investigation that was ongoing relative to that,” Silverstein said. “Mr. Bonfanti appears to be connected to the Legion.”
He added later, “I think there is more circumstances involving the Legion. That may be relative to this although it’s difficult for me to assess.”
“I’m not going to comment on the facts of the case,” Zainea said. “The court has sealed the affidavit at the request of the defense. We have no objection to that so I’m frankly not in a position to comment on the affidavit.”
She added, “This case is in the very early stages. The next step that is anticipated is the presentation to the grand jury.”
Silverstein said Bonfanti is an Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany.