BELFAST, Maine — Dennis Edgecomb told a 911 dispatcher at noon Tuesday that he had just strangled a woman in the Morrill home they shared and that he did not think she was going to live, according to police.
Edgecomb, 39, has been charged with murdering Pamela Green, 42.
“He said he did not want to kill her,” Detective Scott Bryant of the Maine State Police wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday afternoon at Waldo County Superior Court. “He said she drove him to [expletive] do it. … He then asked the dispatcher to hold on because he was going to be sick.”
But the police affidavit also said Green had sent a text message to her daughter, Hannah Green, at 11:01 a.m. “He’s threatening to kill me right now, call and you can hear it,” the message read.
Edgecomb, a short, slight man, made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. Wearing the gray-blue uniform of the Waldo County Jail and bright red handcuffs, he stood beside his court-appointed attorney as Justice Jeffrey Hjelm briefly notified Edgecomb of the murder charge he is facing.
Hjelm agreed to have Edgecomb held without bail until his status conference on Aug. 24 or until his defense attorney, Jeremy Pratt, requests a special Harnish hearing to seek bail.
The courtroom seemed crowded with friends and relatives of Green, 42, most of whom did not want to give a statement to the press.
“She was awesome,” Alex Gilgan of Brewer, a friend of Green’s daughter Hannah, said of Pamela Green outside the courtroom. “She was a lot of fun.”
According to Gilgan and others interviewed in Morrill, Edgecomb and Green had been romantically involved recently.
Edgecomb, who has worked for the past four or five years as a cook at Belfast Variety, told investigating police that the day’s violent events began when he spoke with his mother that morning.
He explained to Bryant and Detective Dean Jackson that he and his mother were planning to look for a new place for him to live on Wednesday because “Pamela was just not right in the head,” according to the affidavit.
“He told us when he got done talking to his mother, Pamela had a fit because she found out he wanted to move,” Bryant wrote in the affidavit.
The two began fighting, according to Edgecomb, who told officers that Green “came out swinging but had nothing in her hands.”
“He said he pushed her on the couch,” Bryant wrote. “He told us when he threw her on the couch she said, ‘That’s going to leave a mark.’ He then held her down and choked her.”
Edgecomb then described to the detectives how he used his hands to choke her around the neck, and said her face was under a cushion and he couldn’t see it.
“He only stopped choking her when she stopped moving,” Bryant wrote in the affidavit.
Autopsy results from Dr. Margaret Greenwald of the state Medical Examiner’s Office, which were included in the court document, indicate that Green had visible bruising around the neck and other injuries “consistent with manual strangulation.”
According to the affidavit, after Edgecomb stopped choking Green he made the 911 call and also phoned his mother, Nancy Edgecomb, and his employer Sharon Benjamin, letting them know what had happened.
“He said he defended himself, freaked out and choked her. He said he thinks she is dead. She is lying there blue and not breathing,” Bryant wrote in the affidavit after listening to the tape of the 911 call Edgecomb made. “She had not been breathing for 10 minutes prior to the call. He said he defended himself and does not want to go to jail. … He tried CPR and it did not work.”
A couple of minutes later, the Waldo County Communications Center received an emergency call from an employee at Belfast Variety who told police Dennis Edgecomb had called saying he just killed someone, Bryant wrote.
Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy James Porter arrived at the North Main Street home and was met at the door by Edgecomb, who was on the phone.
“Dep. Porter stated he made his way into the living area of the home and he observed a female lying on the floor with her shirt pulled up,” Bryant wrote.
Porter immediately began to perform CPR on Green, and overheard Edgecomb telling someone on the phone that they had been arguing and “Pamela came at him,” according to the affidavit.
Edgecomb then said to Porter, “I lost it,” Bryant wrote.
After that, a Belfast Ambulance crew arrived at the house and pronounced Green dead.
According to a criminal history record provided by the Maine State Bureau of Identification, Edgecomb had been convicted of misdemeanor theft in 1988 and of operating under the influence in 2001.
News of the grisly death shook the small community of Morrill.
“I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” said Dana Bagley, who lived next door to Green. “I should’ve been able to hear something. I should’ve been able to do something.”
He met Edgecomb just once, when the man he described as “mild-mannered and friendly” asked to have some scrap metal that had been stored behind Bagley’s garage. Edgecomb had been coming around to Green’s house — either visiting or staying there — for the last six months, Bagley said.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said. “It really hurts. Because it’s so close, it’s personal now.”
Employees at the Morrill General Store remembered Green as a woman who had suffered many difficult health problems but who was “wicked” friendly, funny and loved to have fun.
According to the employees, she had two other children, Felicia and Tim, in addition to Hannah.
“It’s awful,” Di Bartlett said of Green’s death.
She had lived in the small white house on North Main Street for about 10 years, employees said, and often walked to the nearby store.
According to Bartlett, just a half hour before the police sirens came speeding past the store, Green drove past at top speed, heading to her house alone.
“She was driving like 90,” Bartlett said. “She about flipped her vehicle, going around the turn.”
The employees said they knew Edgecomb, but not very well.
“They were dating. They were having problems,” Bartlett said.
Ron Benjamin owns Belfast Variety and knew Edgecomb, who worked in the kitchen.
“Workwise, he’s great,” Benjamin said Wednesday morning at his busy store, saying he was surprised to hear about Green’s death. “I think there’s more to the story than we all know.”
Edgecomb had been scheduled to work last Friday, but called in sick because “somebody beat him up,” Benjamin said.
They were expecting him to work Tuesday afternoon, but then Sharon Benjamin received that phone call from Edgecomb telling her what had happened at Pamela Green’s house.
“She said, ‘Call 911,’” Benjamin said. “She would never have expected this.”