June 22, 2018
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Princeton woman, 79, recounts pointing gun at intruder holding her daughter hostage

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

MACHIAS, Maine — The trial of a Baileyville man accused of holding a Princeton woman hostage in her home began Tuesday morning in Washington County Superior Court.

Vanessa Gatchell testified she feared for her life when she found Dean Moore in her home on June 12, 2009. She said Moore had a sawed-off shotgun in one hand and a steak knife in the other as he stood in her hallway and demanded alcohol.

“I thought I was going to die,” Gatchell testified.

Gatchell’s mother also testified Tuesday morning. She told the jury she was surprised to find Moore in her home with her daughter when she returned from running errands in Baileyville.

Doris Gatchell, 79, said she retrieved a handgun from her bedroom after her daughter whispered to her in the kitchen that Moore had a gun. She then went to the living room, where Moore was sitting, and asked him if he had a gun.

After first denying he was armed, Moore admitted he had a gun but said it was not loaded, Doris Gatchell testified.

“I said ‘I also have a gun and it is loaded and you will get the hell out of my house now,’” Gatchell said.

Moore is being tried on charges of burglary, robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal threatening, theft, and criminal restraint.

He also testified Tuesday morning, saying he was intoxicated during the incident.

Moore acknowledged going into the Gatchell home to steal alcohol, but said he did not think anyone was home. He said he was armed only with a flare gun. He said the gun police later seized at his house, which they described as a sawed-off shotgun, is not the gun he had with him when he entered the home Vanessa Gatchell shares with her mother.

“She was upset. I can understand why,” Moore testified. “I was intoxicated.”

But Moore insisted he never verbally threatened Gatchell, pointed the gun at her, or held the knife in a threatening manner.

“She said she was scared but never asked me to leave.”

Testimony ended late Tuesday morning. Closing arguments were to be presented after lunch with the jurors expected to begin deliberations shortly afterward.

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