BANGOR, Maine — At least according to his girlfriend, the man accused of the Easter Sunday homicide on Ohio Street had moved to Maine in search of a fresh start after his most recent stint in a Connecticut prison, six months for drug possession.
Antoinne J. “Prince” Bethea, who is wanted by Bangor police, was working as a carpenter and handyman with his girlfriend’s father and had wanted to start breeding Yorkies, said his girlfriend of about three months, Danielle Durel. She is the estranged wife of the man Bethea allegedly shot to death, 36-year-old Terrence Durel Sr., of New Orleans.
“[Bethea] talked about getting old and starting to do good things,” Danielle Durel said Thursday. “That’s what’s so sad. He really was just ready to do something right.”
Connecticut prison records indicate that the 40-year-old Bethea, who seems to have spent much of his life in New Haven, was sentenced in 2012 to serve four years in prison after being convicted of selling narcotics in New Haven, Conn. He was released in April 2014.
Bethea’s longest stretch in Connecticut prisons was from 1997 to 2002. That state’s prison records don’t indicate the charges. Nor do Connecticut Judicial Branch records available online. Altogether, he served nearly a decade behind bars in Connecticut. He had no criminal record in Maine.
His most recent confinement in Connecticut, on a possession of narcotics charge, was from June to December of 2015.
Bethea met Danielle Durel last November, she said, and they began dating seriously early this year even though he traveled frequently out of state.
Durel said she knew some elements of Bethea’s past, but had not asked much about it. When she started dating him she was busy working as a maid at a local hotel and raising two children. She had been estranged from her husband, who had moved home to Louisiana, for about a year. Bethea was also separated from his wife, with whom he has five children, Durel said.
“He was in the same situation as T [Terrence] and I. He loved her, but it wasn’t good,” Durel said.
Bethea told her that he was 10 years old when his mother was stabbed to death in front of him, Durel said, and that he served time in prison.
“Our relationship—people thought was weird. It wasn’t weird,” Durel said. “I didn’t ask what he did in [other states]. That’s not my world.”
“We were just trying to get things together here so that we can start a business,” Durel said. “He talked with my dad and was working with him and getting on the straight and narrow. That was what his plan was.”
Durel, who said she was in Bethea’s Ohio Street house when the shooting occurred outside, reiterated that she suspects that Bethea was acting in self-defense. She and Bethea had come home from lunch to find Terrence Durel and a friend of his, whom she identified only as “Primo,” waiting for them, and Terrence Durel had already sent her threatening texts, Danielle Durel said.
Bethea’s criminal record “makes it look like he’s a bad guy. Neither of them were bad guys,” Durel said of Bethea and her husband, sounding frustrated.
“They made really stupid, stupid decisions. It’s just an unfair situation all around. And we are the ones who have to deal with it,” Durel said. “It is not just my family, not just Terrence’s family, but [Bethea’s] family, too. [The family members] didn’t do this. It is just unfortunate that they are going through this, too.”