PORTLAND, Maine — A 7-year-old boy watched his father shoot his mother and her friend in New Gloucester before driving away, leaving the victims bleeding outside the home, the boy running around helplessly and three younger siblings strapped into a car in the driveway, according to state police.
Joel Hayden, 29, of New Bedford, Mass., was charged with two counts of murder Wednesday upon his release from the Maine Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries reportedly suffered when he crashed his car after a high-speed chase Monday night.
Hayden made a brief appearance in court, then was returned to the Cumberland County Jail, where he was held without bail. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.
Hayden is accused of shooting Renee Sandora, 27, of New Gloucester and his longtime friend Trevor Mills, 28, of New Bedford, Mass., outside the mobile home where Sandora lived with her and Hayden’s four children. He then led police on a car chase that ended in Lyman, police said. Sandora and Mills died hours apart Tuesday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
According to a state police affidavit, a woman called police to report that her boyfriend had shot her and a man. At one point during the 35-second call, the woman was heard asking someone, “Are you going to kill me in front of my kids?” before the phone went dead.
Investigators said Hayden and Sandora had a stormy relationship. Sandora’s parents, who lived down the road, told investigators that Sandora had kicked Hayden out of their home, and that she told them that Hayden had accused her of having a relationship with Mills.
A neighbor who heard the gunshots said she saw the boy running around in the driveway saying “don’t shoot” and then “don’t leave” before a car sped away.
The boy described the shootings to police, the affidavit said. All four children, including 3-month-old twins, were with neighbors when police arrived.