June 21, 2018
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Winslow man charged with murder after China man shot dead outside Waterville bar

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

WATERVILLE, Maine — A Winslow man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a man who was shot outside a Waterville bar Tuesday night, authorities said.

Justin V. Smith, 26, of China was shot at approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday outside You Know Who’s Pub on the Concourse, Maine State Police Lt. Chris Coleman said at a press conference Wednesday morning. Smith was taken by ambulance to a MaineGeneral Medical Center campus in Waterville, where he died.

Matthew Partridge, 30, of Winslow was charged with murder in connection with Smith’s death.

Partridge made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Waterville District Court, where Judge Robert Mullen ordered him held without bail.

Mullen asked Partridge if he had any questions regarding his rights.

“No, Your Honor,” replied Partridge, who stood in orange, jail-issued clothing wearing handcuffs. He had abrasions on his nose.

Mullen said he did not have the jurisdiction to accept a plea from Partridge, so he entered no plea. A bail hearing will be scheduled for Thursday.

Outside the courtroom, attorney Jason Jabar of Waterville, who represented Partridge in court, said Pamela Ames likely will be assigned as Partridge’s attorney and Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy likely will hear the case.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson represented the state in court on Wednesday.

During Wednesday morning’s press conference, Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey said police responded late Tuesday night to the Concourse in downtown Waterville and found a man who had been shot. Winslow and Oakland police assisted, he said.

“As a result of that shooting, we called the state police for their assistance and [the Major Crimes Unit] to come in and investigate … what appeared to us to be a homicide,” said Massey.

Coleman said that witnesses reported seeing a pickup truck with a broken headlight leaving the scene.

“Initial responding officers from Waterville PD gathered critical information regarding the vehicle description,” said Coleman.

A Maine State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle matching the description on Route 8 in Smithfield at 11:26 p.m. Tuesday.

“The vehicle had a headlight out, so a traffic stop was [done] and it was determined that it was the one involved in the shooting,” said Coleman. “He was alone at the time.”

Partridge was arrested and taken to the Waterville police station and eventually transferred to the Kennebec County Jail, where he will be held without bail until a hearing is scheduled.

Coleman said the two likely were unacquainted and the shooting occurred after a confrontation between them outside the bar.

“This investigation is still active,” Coleman said. “We feel fairly certain there was an altercation in the bar. This shooting appears to be a result of that altercation.”

Coleman would release few other details, including what kind of gun was used and how many shots were fired.

“At this point the investigation is very active and open, so we have to be careful about what we say,” said Coleman. “We are looking at all those aspects. We need to make sure we have as clear of a picture as possible about what happened prior to the shooting and after. We’re fortunate in the sense that the Waterville Police Department responded almost immediately. They were able to secure the scene and identify potential witnesses for us early, early on.”

Coleman added that Partridge is the only person who has been charged with a crime related to the shooting.

The Concourse is a parking lot and shopping center nestled in downtown Waterville with a short road connecting Main and Spring streets. The area has been host to incidents in the recent past, including one in which a man was arrested in November after police said he tried to start a fight on the Concourse, and a stabbing in May on Temple Street, directly across Main Street from the Concourse.

The chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta was to conduct an autopsy on Smith’s body Wednesday afternoon, McCausland said.

Bangor Daily News Digital Desk editor Andrew Catalina contributed to this report.

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