AUGUSTA, Maine — A Vassalboro man told family members that he killed a 69-year-old man he had known for years because the man touched his genitals and made a sexual advance, according to court documents.
Courtney Shea, 30, was ordered held without bail in his first appearance in Kennebec County Superior Court on Tuesday after being charged with intentional or knowing murder.
Shea is accused of killing Thomas Namer, 69, of Vassalboro, whose body was recovered Nov. 22 next to an abandoned motor home on Route 201 in Vassalboro.
A bail hearing was set for Dec. 5 for Shea.
In an affidavit filed with the Augusta court on Monday, Shea told investigators that he called Namer, who he had known for many years, and asked him to give him a ride to an undisclosed location. Once he got into Namer’s vehicle, Shea said Namer grabbed his genitals and offered a sexual favor, according to the affidavit.
Shea said he “blacked out and killed Thomas Namer,” according to the court document.
An autopsy performed on Namer’s body concluded that he suffered “three stab wounds at the base of the neck, as well as at least two other similar inflicted injuries,” according to the court document.
Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot said Shea, after returning to his home, told his brother Robert Varney, 41, that he “killed Tommy and needed help burying him.”
Varney stated he told Shea to call 911, as did Shea’s stepfather, Joseph Rossignol, 61, when Shea told Rossignol that he had killed Namer.
Shea told police he routinely blacked out when he consumed alcohol. He was seen drinking beer and vodka that night by family members and friends and seemed drunk but coherent, according to the affidavit.
Shea’s friend Brandon Hamilton, 30, told investigators that he, his girlfriend and Shea were drinking alcohol in Shea’s garage on the evening of Nov. 21. Hamilton and his girlfriend later left Shea’s residence, but Hamilton said he and Shea had phone contact between 8:07 p.m. and 9:17 p.m. Shea asked Hamilton to pick him up at the ballfield on the south end of Waterville.
Shea had driven Namer’s vehicle to Waterville because he was scared, according to the affidavit.
“Brandon Hamilton said he and [his girlfriend] then drove to that ball field and saw Courtney Shea standing alone outside a white or silver car parked in the parking lot,” according to the affidavit. Shea told Hamilton that he “had [screwed] up.”
The three returned to Hamilton’s apartment in Waterville where they drank alcohol and played video games before Shea called his mother to give him a ride home at 4:30 a.m.
After talking with his mother, stepfather and brother, Shea called police at 6:46 a.m. to report a deceased male next to his residence on Riverside Drive.
Shea told police that had been sexually assaulted by Namer when he was 11 years old. He went on to say that Namer “routinely purchased alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc. and gave rides to young males and perhaps young females in exchange for sexual favors,” according to the affidavit.
Shea had not been feeling well for approximately a month and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from being sexually molested from the time he was 5 years old by another person, he told investigators.
While in court on Tuesday, Shea appeared in orange jail clothes and in handcuffs. He spoke only a few words.
“Yeah, I understand,” Shea told Justice Michaela Murphy when asked whether he understood the charge against him. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of being released if convicted of the Class A charge.
Maine Deputy Attorney General William Stokes briefly spoke outside the courthouse on Tuesday morning. He said much of what is known at this point is what is outlined in the affidavit.
“More information will be developed by the detectives as this case develops,” Stokes said. “All we know at this point is what the defendant has said. We don’t know whether it’s true or not, but that’s what he alleges.”
Attorney Scott Gurney represented Shea in court on Tuesday, but Brad Grant will represent him in the future, according to Stokes.