Lamoine man charged with murder in connection with fatal shooting in March

Posted June 08, 2012, at 1:13 p.m.
Last modified June 08, 2012, at 4:34 p.m.
Michael Carter
Hancock County Jail
Michael Carter
Maine State Police search the grounds for evidence with a metal detector Monday, March 12, 2012, around the Lamoine, Maine home where four people were shot Sunday morning.
Maine State Police search the grounds for evidence with a metal detector Monday, March 12, 2012, around the Lamoine, Maine home where four people were shot Sunday morning.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Lamoine man was arrested and charged with murder Friday morning in connection with a fatal shooting that took place outside his home in March.

Michael Carter, 30, was arrested at his home on Route 184 by Maine State Police and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department without incident following his indictment Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

In addition to the murder charge, Carter was indicted on charges of elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm stemming from the same incident in which two other men suffered gunshot wounds.

Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair, 32, of Ellsworth, was shot to death outside Carter’s house around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, March 11. The two men wounded in the incident are Torrey Garland, 34, and Joshua McKinney, 25, both of Ellsworth.

Two other people were at the home at the time of the shooting but were uninjured. Tacy Mullins, 23, lives with Carter at the home. Jacob Sinclair, 25, of Ellsworth had just arrived at the house with Garland, McKinney and Randy Sinclair, his brother, when the shooting occurred.

Sinclair died after being shot in the head, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Garland suffered critical injuries as he was shot and then drove away from the scene in a pickup truck he had borrowed earlier from a friend, police have said. Garland crashed the vehicle on Route 184 about a half-mile north of Carter’s home before he was found by emergency response personnel and then taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Garland remained at EMMC for more than a week after the shooting as he recovered from his injuries.

McKinney’s wound was not considered life-threatening, police have said. Carter also suffered a gunshot wound not considered life-threatening during the incident — a result, according to McKinney, of Mullins trying to take the gun away from him.

McCausland indicated that Carter was taken Friday to Hancock County Jail and is expected to be arraigned on the charges at 12:45 p.m. Monday, June 11, in Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth.

Why the four men appeared at Carter’s doorstep at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday was a topic of much speculation in the Ellsworth area following the shooting. McKinney later told the Bangor Daily News that the shooting stemmed from a dispute over a paint job of a truck owned by Carter.

Police have said they recovered a firearm from the scene but have not indicated what kind of gun it is. McKinney, however, has publicly indicated that the weapon used in the shooting was a 9 mm handgun.

According to the Maine State Bureau of Identification, Carter has prior criminal convictions for hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstructing government administration, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants, disorderly conduct, unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, theft, negotiating a worthless instrument and violating conditions of release.

Garland and both Sinclairs also have prior criminal convictions but Mullins and McKinney do not, state records indicate. McKinney was arrested March 23 in Ellsworth on charges of operating a motor vehicle after revocation and unlawful possession of prescription drugs but those charges still are pending.

Garland was convicted in 2009 in Ellsworth of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and has three subsequent convictions for violating conditions of release. Jacob Sinclair was convicted in 2008 in Ellsworth of disorderly conduct, according to the state agency’s records.

Randy Sinclair was convicted in 2002 on an assault charge in Ellsworth, state records indicate, and according to federal court documents he was sentenced in 2002 to serve a year and a day in prison after breaking into the Ellsworth Post Office in 2001.

According to Sinclair’s obituary, published March 16 in the Bangor Daily News, he was a lifetime Hancock County resident and an avid sports fan who started working as a carpenter for his family’s construction business after graduating from Ellsworth High School.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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