Northfield Man Guilty of 3 Counts of Murder in Washington County
A Northfield man has been found guilty of 3 counts of murder after the shooting deaths of a trio of Washington County residents.
Who Was He Accused of Killing?
Thomas Bonfanti was accused of killing 57-year-old Shawn Currey, 33-year-old Samuel Powers, and 49-year-old Jennifer Bryant-Flynn in February of 2020, at homes in Machias and Jonesboro. A fourth person, Regina Long, was also shot but survived and was able to testify at the trial about what happened.
Three days before the shooting spree, Bonfanti was arrested for operating under the influence but was allowed to make bail. The arresting officer said he just seemed like an old guy who had too much to drink. Bonfanti told the officer it was the first drink he'd had in at least six months. When he was arrested for the shootings, he was once again intoxicated. After the shootings, Bonfanti went to the Machias American Legion and told people he had shot someone. He then put $789 on the bar and said it was his cremation money.
What Happened at the Trial?
In an unprecedented move, Bonfanti gave his own opening statement, explaining that no one could tell the story as well as he could. He admitted to shooting the victims but said at least two of them were shot by accident, while the other shooting was done in self-defense. WCSH-TV reports Bonfanti called the victims 'drug addicts' with substantial records, while he had no history of criminal activity.
Regina Long testified that she hugged him when he arrived and gave him coffee. After talking for 15 or 20 minutes, she said Bonfanti shot her in the neck and head. As she lay on the floor, pretending to be dead, he shot her once again in the shoulder.
How Long Did the Jury Deliberate?
On Wednesday, a jury took less than three hours to reach a verdict. Thomas Bonfanti was found guilty of three counts of murder, one count of aggravated attempted murder, and one count of aggravated assault. Sentencing will be held at a later date in Machias.