State silent on more arrests in Amity triple homicide

Posted Aug. 03, 2010, at 8:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:53 a.m.
Thayne Ormsby  (BANGOR DAILY NEW SPHOTO BY GABOR DEGRE)

CAPTION

Thayne Ormsby during his arraignment at the Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton Wednesday.  Ormsby was arraigned on three counts of murder and one count of arson.  He entered a plea of not guilty.(Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
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Thayne Ormsby (BANGOR DAILY NEW SPHOTO BY GABOR DEGRE) CAPTION Thayne Ormsby during his arraignment at the Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton Wednesday. Ormsby was arraigned on three counts of murder and one count of arson. He entered a plea of not guilty.(Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)

AMITY, Maine — It has been more than a month since three people were brutally killed in a home on U.S. Route 1 in Amity. Thayne Ormsby, 20, who was living in Orient at the time of the June 22 triple homicide, was arrested on July 2 and charged in connection with the stabbing deaths of Jeffrey Ryan, 55, of Amity, his son, 10-year-old Jesse Ryan, and Jason Dehahn, 30, a longtime family friend who was visiting the Ryan home on the day of the murders.

Although several family members of the victims have said they do not believe Ormsby was the only one responsible for the killings, no one else has been charged. Investigators continued to remain close-mouthed Tuesday afternoon about the possibility of other arrests in the case.

Ormsby remains held without bail at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton, where he has been held since he was brought back to Maine to face the charges last month. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and one count of arson during his July 21 arraignment. The arson charge was lodged because Ormsby reportedly stole Jeffrey Ryan’s truck after the killings and set it on fire on a field road in Weston. The not guilty plea to the murders was entered even though Ormsby allegedly confessed to Maine State Police Detective Dale Keegan that he stabbed all three victims to death. Ormsby reportedly told police he killed Jeffrey Ryan because he believed Ryan was a drug dealer.

A criminal background check of Jeffrey Ryan revealed no history of drug-related offenses.

Members of the Dehahn and Ryan families have expressed skepticism that Ormsby could have overpowered Jason Dehahn and Jeffrey Ryan, two rugged outdoorsmen.

Robert Strout, an Orient resident who lives a short distance from the crime scene, gave shelter to Ormsby at his home in the weeks before the killings. He told police that a bloodied Ormsby came to his home after the killings and threatened to kill his family if he did not help Ormsby cover up evidence of the crime. Strout fol-lowed Ormsby as Ormsby drove Jeffrey Ryan’s truck to Weston to burn it, according to a police affidavit.

Strout also told police he drove Ormsby to a bog where Ormsby got out and threw a knife into the water, the affidavit said. State police divers searched the bog but have refused to confirm whether they recovered the murder weapon.

On June 25, Strout drove Ormsby to New Hampshire to stay with one of his children, Robert Strout II.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, who represented the state at Ormsby’s arraignment, said Tuesday afternoon that he could not comment on whether additional charges are pending or whether future arrests are a possibility.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said. “I can’t comment on ongoing investigations.”

After the arraignment, Stokes met with the victims’ families in a room at the courthouse. He said Tuesday that he did not want to discuss what they talked about during the closed-door session. He refused to say whether they asked him about additional charges being lodged in the case.

The state requested during the arraignment that a forensic psychiatric evaluation be conducted on Ormsby. Stokes said the evaluation would help determine Ormsby’s state of mind at the time of the killings. A decision on that matter was not made at the hearing, but Stokes said Tuesday that he has been told that the state’s re-quest will be granted.

“After the evaluation is done, it will be impounded,” Stokes said. “That is typical. The state will not see the report until the defense sees it and decides how to proceed.”

Hunter granted Ormsby’s lawyers 120 days to conduct pretrial motions. They also received the right to amend the plea at a future hearing.

Ormsby is being represented by Sarah LeClaire and James Dunleavy, two court-appointed attorneys from Presque Isle. LeClaire was on vacation Tuesday and not available to comment on whether plans are in the works to amend the plea. Dunleavy did not return a call seeking comment.

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