May 28, 2018
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Medical examiner: Gunshot wounds claimed life of Georgetown man near bee farm

Alex Lear | The Forecaster
Alex Lear | The Forecaster
Leon Kelley of Georgetown was shot and killed Sunday afternoon at Brown's Bee Farm in North Yarmouth, behind the Honey Comb Drive home of business co-owner Stan Brown, off Greely Road.
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

NORTH YARMOUTH, Maine — As expected, the Maine medical examiner’s office determined Monday that Leon Kelley, a Georgetown man involved in a deadly altercation Sunday near a well-known beekeeping supply store in North Yarmouth, died of gunshot wounds.

Police on Sunday said Kelley was shot by Merrill “Mike” Kimball, a 70-year-old lobsterman from Yarmouth, after a confrontation in the vicinity of Brown’s Bee Farm shop off Greely Road. Kelley died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, police said at the time, and an autopsy was performed Monday by the medical examiner’s office in Augusta.

Timothy Feeley of the Maine attorney general’s office on Tuesday morning confirmed the finding that Kelley died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, but said the “manner of death” — specifically how those wounds were inflicted — is not being released until the police complete their investigation.

The official determination that Kelley was indeed killed by gunshots confirmed what police and involved parties expected based on the circumstances. Police detained Kimball, interviewed him and released him Sunday.

The shooting took place on the North Yarmouth property of Stan Brown, a 93-year-old beekeeper known in Maine and national beekeeping circles for his longevity. Kelley was Brown’s son-in-law, while Kimball is the husband of Brown’s business partner, Karen Thurlow-Kimball.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, told the Bangor Daily News on Monday that everyone involved in the incident has been cooperative and that investigators plan to conduct second interviews with those individuals in hopes of determining what caused the Sunday afternoon confrontation between Kelley and Kimball, as well as how the gun was introduced into the setting.

Brown said Monday he had told Kelley to keep Kimball from entering his bee supply store, which was closed at the time. Brown said he’d told Kimball on several previous occasions not to enter the shop during closed hours, and called the Yarmouth lobsterman “troubled.”

Kelley was recalled Monday as an “upbeat and jovial spirit” as well as an important part of the Georgetown area community by those who knew him.

“[A]nyone who knew him will tell you that he had a way of making people laugh like no one else I know,” longtime friend Leo Gibbons told the BDN. “He would always light up any room with his upbeat and jovial spirit. Even when he was hurting, recovering from heart surgery, he would joke about it. Leon would do — and often did — anything to help out anyone, even if he didn’t know them.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized the shooting victim as a lobsterman in the headline.

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