BANGOR, Maine — Police miscommunication may have helped murder suspect Antoine Bethea escape after he allegedly shot another man on Easter Sunday, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released after his court appearance on Thursday.
On Easter at about 7:15 p.m., four hours after Terrance Durel Sr. was shot dead in Bangor, a state trooper spotted a white SUV with Illinois license plates at a Fairfield Circle K store, according to the affidavit.
The trooper approached Cindy McVicar, who was with the vehicle, and saw a safe inside the SUV along with some plastic bags, according to the affidavit, which was written by Bangor police Detective Joshua Kuhn.
“Due to a miscommunication, the vehicle was allowed to leave,” he wrote.
Bethea, who rented the getaway vehicle from Avis Car Rental, was inside the gas station at the time, according to the affidavit. McVicar was later charged with helping Bethea escape.
The affidavit leaves unclear what the miscommunication was or whether state police had received word of the SUV’s connection to Durel’s death when the trooper saw it. But it states that at least one witness told Bangor police about it before the gas station sighting.
Spokesmen for state and Bangor police and the Maine Attorney General’s office declined to comment on Thursday.
Bethea, 40, of New Haven, Connecticut, pleaded not guilty during his appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center. He was ordered held without bail.
Bethea is accused of shooting the 36-year-old Durel, of New Orleans, outside the home the suspect shared with Durel’s estranged wife, Danielle Durel, at 2 Highland Ave., at about 3 p.m. on Easter. Several witnesses identified Bethea by name and in photo lineups as the shooter, the affidavit states.
Bethea was arrested May 21 in Ohio and taken to Bangor on Wednesday.
According to the affidavit, Durel died from a gunshot wound to the upper torso. Danielle Durel said the shooting arose from a fight he and Bethea had while she was inside the apartment.
Immediately after the shooting, Durel moved a friend’s car out of the way, allowing Bethea to flee, before driving her husband to the hospital, according to the affidavit.
Attempts to contact Durel Thursday were unsuccessful.
According to the affidavit, witnesses saw the white SUV outside a home owned by Danielle Durel’s family on Dirigo Drive in Bangor about an hour after the shooting.
McVicar, 45, was arrested April 21 for allegedly misleading officers about driving Bethea to Portland after the shooting. Bangor police later identified Bethea in the gas station surveillance tape, according to the affidavit.
“Mr. Bethea can be seen attempting to exit the front door [of the gas station] and then stops,” according to the affidavit. “Mr. Bethea starts looking out the window at the time that the trooper approaches Mrs. McVicar. He appears to be very nervous and then exits out the back door of the store. It should be noted that Mr. Bethea was bald in the video.”
According to the affidavit, detectives found a trash bag containing cut dreadlocks at the Dirigo Drive home. The SUV was located in New Haven.
Attempts to contact Bethea’s attorney, Zachary Brandmeir, after the hearing were unsuccessful. Bethea is due in court on June 13.