Trial set to begin in Princeton hostage case

Posted April 23, 2011, at 3:31 p.m.
Last modified April 24, 2011, at 2:15 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine —- The trial of a Baileyville man accused of holding a Princeton woman hostage in her home before her mother forced him out at gunpoint is expected to be held this week in Washington County Superior Court.

Dean T. Moore, 36, is facing charges of burglary, robbery and other lesser charges in connection with the June 12, 2009, incident. His trial is expected to get under way at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, in Washington County Superior Court in Machias. A jury already has been selected in the case.

According to court documents, Moore allegedly walked into the home of a South Princeton Road woman armed with a sawed-off shotgun and a knife and demanded liquor late on a Friday afternoon in June 2009. Vanessa Gatchell, then 50 years old, had been watching television in the house and opened two bottles of wine for him, police have said.

Moore allegedly directed Gatchell to the front room, where they sat and talked. She asked Moore to leave, police have said, but he refused.

The woman’s mother, Doris Gatchell, who was 77 at the time, had left the house just before Moore appeared and eventually returned as he sat with her daughter in the home. Moore, who by then had discarded the knife, hid the gun from Doris Gatchell’s view but remained seated while the two women went into the kitchen, where Vanessa Gatchell told her mother what had happened, according to police.

The elder woman, who had stashed a gun in the home, then retrieved it and walked back to the room where Moore remained seated, according to police. Standing behind where Moore was sitting, she told him she had a gun and ordered him out of the house.

After being escorted out the door, Moore returned with his gun to his home about a quarter-mile away, according to court documents. He was arrested at his home a few hours later after a standoff with police ended peacefully, the documents indicate.

Moore’s trial is expected to last a day and a half, according to information posted on the Washington County district attorney’s website.

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