June 22, 2018
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Matinicus fishermen resolve civil suit in 2009 shooting

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Two Matinicus Island lobstermen involved in a 2009 shooting on the town dock have reached a settlement in their civil lawsuit, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Details about the agreement were not included in the Knox County Superior Court records.

Originally, Christopher Young, who was shot by Vance Bunker, asked for $4 million to recover potential lost income for the rest of his life and other damages, including his medical care.

According to testimony from a criminal trial last year against Bunker and his daughter Janan Miller, the shooting was the result of an ongoing feud over fishing territory.

The feud erupted into gunfire on July 20, 2009, after Miller said she heard threatening comments over lobsterboat radio frequencies. Fearing for the safety of her husband, who also is a fisherman, she ran down to the Matinicus dock with a shotgun. When Young’s stepbrother, Weston Ames, grabbed the gun from Miller, her father pulled out his revolver shot at Ames, missing him, and then at Young, striking him twice, according to testimony. Bunker said he fired only because he feared for his daughter’s life.

The jury decided Bunker and Miller acted in self-defense and both were acquitted of all criminal charges.

Young suffered injuries to his neck that almost completely paralyzed his arm, according to court documents.

Calls to the attorneys involved in the civil suit were not returned Wednesday.

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