Houlton man indicted on two counts of murder in connection with deaths of Oakfield couple

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 14, 2013, at 7:07 p.m.

A Houlton man has been indicted on two counts of murder and multiple other charges in connection with the killings of an Oakfield couple and an arson spree in September in southern Aroostook.

Matthew Davis, 32, is accused of fatally shooting Michael Kitchen, 51, and Heidi Pratt, 49, in their home before setting it on fire on Sept. 23.

He was indicted Nov. 8 on two counts of murder, four counts of arson, three counts each of theft and aggravated criminal mischief. The Aroostook County grand jury handed up the indictments last Friday, but the list was not released by Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins until Thursday.

An autopsy conducted at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta showed that Kitchen died from multiple gunshot wounds and Pratt died from a gunshot wound to the neck. Police said the wounds were inflicted by a semi-automatic rifle purchased by Davis.

According to an affidavit written by Maine State Police Detective Elmer Farren, neighbors of the victims heard gunshots at about 4:30 a.m. Sept. 23 and saw a truck leaving the scene with one male driver. Firefighters called to the home discovered a white pickup truck belonging to Katahdin Forest Products aflame against the residence. One hour later, the Island Falls Fire Department was called to extinguish a fire on Richardson Road in Island Falls, where another pickup truck was found burning with a firearm inside.

Police believe the spree of mayhem started earlier that morning at Katahdin Forest Products in Oakfield, where a flatbed wrecker truck registered to Davis had been backed into the building, and both the truck and office had caught fire. Police said video surveillance from that site shows the same white company truck leaving the scene as was found burning at the Kitchen home.

Following a manhunt, police found Davis at about 10:45 a.m. in a stolen vehicle in Island Falls and arrested him, according to the affidavit.

Farren also said in the affidavit that police determined the burning vehicle found on Richardson Road belonged to the garage that Kitchen owned with his family. Another firearm inside that vehicle belonged to Davis.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea was not available for comment Thursday evening.

Davis did not enter a plea when he made his initial court appearance on Sept. 25. He has been held without bail at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton since his arrest.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/11/14/news/aroostook/houlton-man-indicted-on-two-counts-of-murder-in-connection-with-deaths-of-oakfield-couple/ printed on December 19, 2014