DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Dover-Foxcroft man who is charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his brother earlier this month said nothing publicly during his initial court appearance Monday in Piscataquis County Superior Court in Dover-Foxcroft.
Steven T. Mayo, 22, is charged in the fatal shooting of his brother Ryan Mayo, 20, on May 1 during an altercation on French Road where the brothers lived. Police said Steven Mayo had returned home to find that Ryan Mayo had damaged his property with an all-terrain vehicle. Upset over the damage, police said, Steven Mayo shot his brother in the head with a 70-year-old Russian rifle and bullets that he had obtained by trading in a stereo amplifier.
The State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Ryan Mayo, a young father, died of a gunshot wound to the “head and brain.”
Steven Mayo, who was shackled at the ankles Monday, showed no emotion in the courtroom but he repeatedly looked over his shoulder to his family seated behind him.
Mayo was ordered held without bail until a Harnish hearing at 1 p.m. June 6 in Piscataquis County Superior Court. A Harnish hearing is used to determine if a person accused of what used to be a capital crime in Maine should be held without bail.
Judge Kevin Stitham scheduled a conference on the murder charge at 8:30 a.m. July 11 and appointed attorney Randy Day of Garland to represent Mayo, who is indigent.
A grand jury is expected to hear details of Mayo’s case when it is seated in June and decide whether to indict him. If so, the July 11 conference would not be necessary, according to Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.
Almy said that usually a defendant charged with murder would be held without bail, but he added that there was a chance bail could be set June 6 in an amount that Mayo could make. The matter of bail will be addressed at the Harnish hearing, he said after the hearing.
“This case was thoroughly investigated by the state police and by the Dover Police Department and reviewed by the attorney general,” Almy said outside the courtroom. “They took their time, as is the correct process, because, you know, this is a serious charge and it’s important that we be fair and thorough before making a decision. Based upon the evidence, the murder charge is appropriate.’’
According to a state police affidavit, Steven Mayo said he returned home from grocery shopping on May 1 and found his driveway torn up from an ATV. He reportedly walked to his brother’s home next door and began removing fuses from the vehicle, which was parked on the lawn. He allegedly told police that his brother had damaged his property before despite being told not to do so.
Steven Mayo said Ryan Mayo came out of his home and began chasing him and at one point Ryan Mayo used a white metal pole to hit his brother’s truck. Ryan also allegedly hit his brother in the mouth before yelling that he was going to get a gun and “blow Steven’s brains out,” according to affidavit.
Steven allegedly told police that he went and got the Russian rifle from his home and blew the out the tires to his brother’s all-terrain vehicle. Mayo said his brother then came out of his home with a shotgun and fired it. Steven allegedly told police he then shot at Ryan Mayo as he was re-entering his home.