Boy testifies about events leading up to shooting

Posted March 10, 2010, at 1:08 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 13-year-old New Hampshire boy who spends summers on Matinicus testified Wednesday about events leading up to the July 20, 2009, shooting on the town wharf.

Edwin Vance Bunker, 68, of Matinicus and Owls Head is charged with two counts of elevated aggravated assault, criminal threatening and reckless conduct. His daughter, Janan Miller, 45, of Spruce Head is charged with reckless conduct.

Calvin Johnstone of Hopkinton, N.H., testified on the third day of the trial in Knox County Superior Court that he was on Bunker’s boat when Christopher Young, 42, of Owls Head boarded the boat without permission at about 5:30 a.m. July 20. Johnstone also told the jury he heard Young threaten Miller’s husband, Alan Miller, 60, of Spruce Head over a radio that lobstermen use to communicate with each other and relatives onshore.

The boy, who was 12 in July, said that he has spent the past four summers on Matinicus, where his family has a summer home. For the past two years, he has worked for Bunker on his lobster boat.

On July 20, he met the man he calls “Bumpy” at the town dock. They took a skiff out to where Bunker’s boat was moored in the harbor and began preparing bait for traps, Johnstone testified. He said he was “surprised” when Young pulled alongside Bunker’s boat and began swearing and making threats, then boarded the boat without permission.

He said he witnessed the wrestling match between Young and Bunker that has been described by other witnesses. Johnstone also said that Bunker and his sternman, Thomas Bernardi, 44, of Thomaston and Matinicus, both asked Young to leave the boat before Bunker pepper-sprayed Young.

Johnstone testified that after the incident he went to Janan Miller’s home. The boy referred to her as his “summer mama.”

He said that after Janan Miller made him some breakfast, they heard yelling on the radio. Johnstone said he recognized the voice as Young’s.

“Chris was yelling, ‘You’d better run,’ and making threats,” the boy told the jury. “[Janan] was very scared for Al’s life. I got really nervous and I did leave.”

The defendants are expected to take the stand Wednesday afternoon.

Closing arguments followed by jury deliberations are scheduled to begin Thursday morning.

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