DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — One suspect has refused to talk to police and the other says “he blacked out and does not remember” anything about the shooting that took place last week in front of their Lancaster Avenue house, according to a police affidavit.
Cousins Kyle Corson, 21, and Wilbur Joe Corson Jr., 22, were arrested Friday and face charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, elevated aggravated assault and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.
They made their first appearance in Dover-Foxcroft District Court on Monday, where their bail was set at $2,500 cash apiece, the court clerk said. They did not enter pleas because their felony case has not been presented to the grand jury.
There are several different stories about how Reginald “Reggie” Melvin, 48, got to Lancaster Street, where he was beaten, bitten by a dog and shot in the stomach with a .22-caliber rifle that looked like an assault rifle, according to a 14-page probable cause arrest warrant filed by Dover-Foxcroft police Officer James Carr.
“During surgery one .22 caliber bullet was removed from his abdomen. Melvin also had numerous other injuries to his head, various bumps and bruises on his face, nose, right eye and numerous bite marks on his lower legs and ankles,” the affidavit states.
Melvin left the hospital on Friday against his doctor’s wishes, his son said.
The Corson cousins and Wilbur Joe Corson’s girlfriend “stated no firearm was involved” in the fight with Melvin when questioned by the first officer to arrive at the scene, the affidavit states. Wilbur Joe Corson Jr., who goes by the name Joe Corson, has refused to speak to investigating officers.
Melvin says he was just walking by and was jumped by the Corson cousins and attacked by a dog owned by Joe Corson. The Corsons say Melvin arrived at their house and starting smashing vehicle windows with a chain with padlocks or doorknobs attached.
Melvin told police that after the dog attacked him and both Kyle and Joe Corson hit him with a baseball bat and possibly brass knuckles, he got up dazed and attempted to walk toward his friend’s truck.
That is “when he saw Joe with a gun. At first he thought it was fake, but then Joe shot him,” Melvin told Carr.
A neighbor was getting ready for work when he heard the commotion outside and saw one man with a rifle holding a dog and another man with a baseball bat faced off against a man in the street with a chain in his hand, the affidavit states.
“The male that had the dog released the dog and told the dog to ‘get him,’” the witness told police. “The male with the bat hit the man in the head with the bat.”
The neighbor went outside and yelled at the group to break things up and then went inside to call 911. Shortly afterward, he saw the cousins return to their front porch but then they hollered something at Melvin that made him turn to face them, the witness said.
”When he turned around the male holding the rifle shot at the man in the street 2-3 times,” the affidavit states.
Four witnesses who were in the truck all said they saw Joe Corson with the rifle, holding his large Rottweiler. Melvin was shirtless when he got into the truck bleeding from the gunshot wound and dog bites and one witness said “she saw the dog rip it off him while it was attacking him.”
Kyle Corson told police he remembers nothing but was told by his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend that he was the one who got the gun and shot Melvin.
“He does not remember unlocking the lock, loading the gun, shooting, or even bringing the gun back into the house, but he was told that he did,” the affidavit states.
Evidence collected from the Corsons’ house includes a Smith and Wesson .22-caliber rifle “covered with red-brown stains” that appear to be blood, three .22-caliber casings found on the lawn near the front porch, a baseball bat, a bloody, blue ripped shirt that belongs to Melvin, as well as other blood evidence.
The evidence collected from the bloody truck includes a chain with four padlocks on it that “had slivers of glass in it.”
Both men are being held at the Piscataquis County Jail and remained there Monday evening, a jail official said.
Dover-Foxcroft Police Chief Dennis Dyer said Friday the parties involved in the shooting have a history, including a well-publicized street brawl last August in Guilford, in which a man was shot in the forearm and three others were sent to the hospital.
Kyle Corson’s wife said the man shot last year was Joe Corson.