May 23, 2018
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Falmouth man accused of killing his mother taken into custody after standoff

Cumberland County Jail | BDN
Cumberland County Jail | BDN
Andrew Leighton
Bangor Daily News

FALMOUTH, Maine — An Edgewater Drive man was taken into custody Friday night in connection with the shooting death of his mother earlier in the day.

Andrew Leighton, 46, is facing a murder charge, according to Maine State Police.

Leighton reportedly surrendered to police at 11 p.m. after a standoff at the home he shared with his parents that began about 6 p.m. The body of Shirley Leighton, 68, was found in the living room.

At about 11 a.m. Saturday, Falmouth police Officer John Kilbride said state police were finishing their search of the home at the crest of a small hill on Edgewater Drive.

Residents slowly milled around the neighborhood, speaking quietly in small groups and beginning to work on home and landscaping projects.

Next door neighbor, John Piles, said the news of the killing came as a surprise after living next to the Leighton family for 33 years.

“They’re a great family,” he said, noting that they were friendly neighbors, but not close friends.

Piles said police came to the door off his backyard deck Friday night to evacuate them. The family left the house and headed to Skillins Greenhouses on Foreside Road where they called friends to come pick them up, he said.

“We didn’t hear anything,” Piles said.

Another woman, who did not give her name, said the Leightons were a “very private family, who we loved dearly.”

An autopsy on Shirley Leighton’s body will take place Sunday at the state medical examiner’s office, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Andrew Leighton was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for evaluation. He was released early Saturday morning and taken to the Cumberland County Jail and is being held without bail. He will make his first court appearance Monday or Tuesday, McCausland said.

The shooting was reported by Thomas Leighton, 71, when he returned to the house Friday afternoon after walking his dog.

Kilbride said after police evacuated nearby homes on both sides of the street, the Cumberland County tactical team of the sheriff’s department was deployed and set up negotiations.

State police detectives were at the home through the night, McCausland said. They were expected to return later Saturday morning with a search warrant to continue the investigation.

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