May 23, 2018
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No domestic violence calls before Hampden murder-suicide, police say

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Maine State Police tactical team members maneuver into place along Main Road North in Hampden on Friday during a standoff that ended with a domestic murder-suicide.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — There was no history of domestic violence problems at the home that Katherine Hunt and her killer, Lawrence Beaute, had shared since July of last year before last week’s murder-suicide, according to police.

“We’ve never been involved with either of them,” Hampden police Chief Joe Rogers said Monday.

He also said that to his knowledge, no protection order had been put into place, adding that even if Hunt had obtained a protection order from another community, Hampden police would have received a copy.

On Monday, the series of events that led to last Friday’s shootings on Marina Road remained unclear.

Hunt was a welder at General Electric in Bangor and Beaute was a medical technician at the Maine Veterans Home, also in Bangor.

Hunt reportedly was in the process of breaking up with Beaute when he shot her with a 9 mm handgun early Friday morning in the kitchen of Hunt’s home, where he had been living since moving to Maine from Jacksonville, Fla., Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Friday.

Beaute then used the gun to kill himself, McCausland said, adding that state police detectives are calling Hunt’s death a domestic violence homicide.

According to detectives, Hunt left work early Friday morning to return home and likely was shot a short time after she arrived at the house. Beaute called the Maine State Police dispatch center in Orono at 7 a.m. to say there had been a homicide at the house and that he intended to kill himself.

The two bodies were found on the kitchen floor by the state police tactical team when they entered the two-story house at noontime. The bodies later were taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta for examination.

The deaths shocked many residents of Hampden.

Though neighbors said they heard the couple arguing earlier this year, both Hunt and Beaute “seemed happy” and were friendly, often waving at people passing by on their way to Turtle Head Marina, a popular boat launch facility on the Penobscot River.

The incident also caused a six-hour standoff that closed two miles of Main Road North, forcing several business to temporarily close until the matter was resolved.

On Monday, Rogers said while much remains unknown about the circumstances leading to the shootings, he recommended that anyone who believes they may be heading into a tense, emotional or otherwise stressful situation not do so alone.

“Bring someone with you. It doesn’t have to be a police officer, but don’t go alone,” he said.

McCausland said last week that Hunt’s death was the ninth homicide so far this year and not the first attributed to domestic violence.

BDN photographer Kevin Bennett, reporter Nok-Noi Ricker and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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