Triple Murder Trial Moved to Belfast Due to Concern of Jury Bias
The triple murder trial of Thomas Bonfanti has been moved after defense lawyers raised concerns about publicity.
On a Monday morning in February of 2020, four people were shot, in Jonesboro and Machias. Three of them died: 57-year-old Shawn Currey; 33-year-old Samuel Powers; and 49-year-old Jennifer Bryant-Flynn. Regina Long, who lived with Currey, survived her injuries and it was Long who pointed the finger at the 63-year-old Northfield man. It was the second time in a week that police had contact with him.
Three days before the murders, Bonfanti was arrested for operating under the influence. He told the arresting officer that it was the first time he'd had a drink in at least six months. The officer felt he wasn't a threat, just a guy who had consumed too much alcohol.
He was booked on the OUI charge, but allowed to make bail. Three days later, Bonfanti would walk into the American Legion Hall in Machias and tell the patrons that he was a murderer. When police arrived to arrest him, he allegedly told them he'd killed some people. So far, there has been no information released about the motive for the deaths.
Jury selection for Bonfanti's murder trial was set to start this week. But the Kennebec Journal reports his attorney successfully requested a change of venue. William Ashe told the judge that the publicity surrounding his client's case would make it impossible to find an impartial jury in Washington County. He asked that the trial be moved to Waldo County, and the judge granted the request.
Jury selection and the murder trial are now set to begin in May of 2022 in a Belfast courtroom.