Princeton woman, 77, escorts armed intruder from home at gunpoint

By Diana Graettinger,
Posted June 15, 2009, at 10:33 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A 77-year-old Princeton woman faced down a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun and sent him running after she pointed her own gun at him, according to court documents.

Doris Gatchell’s daughter, Eileen Newman, said Monday that family members had since nicknamed their mother “Annie Oakley.”

Suspect Dean T. Moore, who was arrested shortly after the Friday, June 12, incident, made his first appearance Monday in Washington County Superior Court. He faces up to 30 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000 on each of the two most serious charges of burglary with a firearm and robbery. He also has been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, theft and criminal restraint. On Monday night, Moore remained in Washington County Jail unable to come up with the $15,000 bail set after his arrest.

Doris Gatchell’s daughter, Vanessa Gatchell, 50, was home watching television on South Princeton Road when she heard footsteps in the hallway at about 4:30 p.m., according to court documents made available Monday.

Doris Gatchell had just left the house and Vanessa Gatchell thought her mother had returned because she had forgotten something. “She called out, but there was no answer,” according to the affidavit on file with the court.

Vanessa Gatchell went into the hallway and found Moore armed with a gun and a knife just standing there, the affidavit said.

The woman asked Moore not to hurt her and offered him money, according to the court documents. He refused to leave and demanded liquor, the affidavit said.

“Ms. Gatchell opened two bottles of wine for [Moore], and he directed her to the front room where they both sat,” the affidavit said.

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They talked about 30 minutes during which “he told her he was not afraid to hurt someone and he had used guns and knives before,” the court documents said.

At some point during the conversation, Moore discarded the knife, but kept the shotgun, according to the documents.

The woman asked him to leave and said no one would have to know he had been there, but Moore declined to leave, the affidavit said.

Eventually Doris Gatchell returned home.

Moore hid the firearm from view as Doris Gatchell entered the front room, the affidavit said.

The two women then went into the kitchen, and Vanessa Gatchell told her mother that Moore had a gun and she “thought he was going to shoot them both,” the affidavit said.

Doris Gatchell retrieved her own gun and, according to the court documents, went into the front room and stood behind Moore’s chair.

Eileen Newman told the BDN on Monday that her mother, Doris, had a concealed weapons permit and had a gun “stashed” somewhere in the house. She said her parents at one time owned a sporting goods store that sold firearms. Her father, Ken, is deceased.

Doris Gatchell told Moore she had a gun and ordered him to leave, the affidavit said. “Mrs. Gatchell escorted the defendant out the door. Once on the porch [Moore] dropped his gun and then picked it up again. It was only at that point that Mrs. Gatchell saw the gun,” the court documents said.

The Gatchells then called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Michael St. Louis said Monday that when police arrived they at first were not sure whether Moore had run into the woods near the house or had gone back to his home about a quarter of a mile from the Gatchell residence.

Police surrounded Moore’s house and tried to contact him, according to St. Louis, but there was no response.

After about 90 minutes, however, Moore stepped out onto his front porch to smoke a cigarette and that was when police arrested him and took him to jail, St. Louis said. Officers found the firearm in Moore’s garage and later recovered the knife from the Gatchell residence, the chief deputy said.

The Maine State Police, the Baileyville and Calais police departments, the Maine Warden Service and the U.S. Border Patrol assisted on Friday night, he said.

In court on Monday, Attorney Jeffrey Davidson of East Machias was appointed to represent Moore.

Deputy District Attorney Carletta Bassano said Monday that Moore is expected to appear for a hearing to reassess his bail on June 22 in Washington County Superior Court.

According to the affidavit, Moore has a long criminal history including a prior conviction for robbery and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. In 1998, Moore fled across the U.S.-Canadian border after he robbed a Calais convenience store clerk at knifepoint and stole more than $800. He quickly was apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, returned to the U.S. and later sentenced to 11 years in prison.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/06/15/news/princeton-woman-77-escorts-armed-intruder-from-home-at-gunpoint/ printed on September 22, 2014