August 25, 2019
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Center Street shooting vic’s ex-girlfriend hid behind car when she heard shots

BANGOR, Maine — A former girlfriend of the man who survived a 2015 double shooting on Center Street gave emotional testimony on Thursday about her efforts to stop the bleeding after he was shot multiple times.

Tera Choquette, 30, testified that she was smoking a cigarette on the front steps of 201 Center Street about 3:30 a.m. the morning after Thanksgiving, when Thomas “Ferg” Ferguson, and Robert “Rocco” Hansley rushed past her and up the stairs to the apartment where she was staying.

“I knew they weren’t welcome there,” said Choquette, who said she did not see whether the two men were carrying guns. “I heard a lot of ‘What’s up?’ Then, I heard the shots.”

That’s when she ran to the house next door and hid behind a car. She didn’t come out from behind it when she heard her boyfriend, Barry Jenkins, yelling that he’d been shot and needed an ambulance, she said.

Choquette said Thursday that she only came out from behind the car when Jenkins called for her by name.

Ferguson and Hansley are charged with murder and elevated aggravated assault in the shooting that left Robert “Ricco” Mark Kennedy, 38, of Bangor dead and wounded Jenkins, 42, who was visiting from Brooklyn, New York. The two men are being tried separately.

Thursday was the second day of testimony in Ferguson’s jury-waived trial before Superior Court Justice William Anderson at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Hansley’s trial has not been scheduled.

“I freaked out when I saw Barry,” she said. “I remember trying to put a finger in a bullet hole. He asked me to go upstairs and get his phone.”

When she got into the living room of the apartment, she saw her friend Karen Patchett, 46, of Bangor talking on the phone near the window. Kennedy was slumped in a corner bleeding.

“I told Ricco it would be okay. Someone called 911. You’ll be okay,” Choquette, her voice breaking with emotion, testified.

Choquette grabbed Jenkins’ phone and a jacket to try to stop the bleeding and went back outside.

Choquette said the ambulance arrived within five minutes of the shooting and she rode to Eastern Maine Medical Center with Jenkins.

Cross-examination of Choquette is set for Friday morning. Patchett also is also scheduled to testify.

Wallace Hallett, who lived with his girlfriend in the two-story apartment behind 201 Center Street, also testified on Thursday — saying that he returned from work about 3:30 a.m. the morning of the shooting and almost immediately heard eight to 12 gunshots.

That appeared to line up with testimony from former Bangor police detective Eric Tourtelotte, who said that he found eight .40 caliber bullet casings while photographing and processing evidence in the living room of the apartment. He also found four bullets — one on the floor, one in a wall, one inside a couch cushion and another inside the frame of the couch.

Jenkins was found by police on the front steps of 201 Center St. with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a police affidavit. Kennedy, who died of multiple gunshot wounds, was found inside the apartment draped over a DVD rack near a window.

After two days of testimony, a motive for the shooting remained unclear. Jenkins said that after an incident on Labor Day weekend in the Bangor area when Kennedy was arrested, Hansley began referring to him “as a rat.”

Choquette was not specific Thursday about why Kennedy and Hansley were no longer friendly.

If convicted, each man faces 25 years to life in prison on the murder charges and up to 30 years in prison if convicted of elevated aggravated assault.

Ferguson also is charged with tampering with a victim, which carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison.

His trial is expected to last 10 days to two weeks.

The judge has not said when he will release his written verdict.

 



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