December 04, 2019
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Police arrest 2 men for murder in death of Bangor man

Composite image | BDN
Composite image | BDN
The home at 258 Essex St., left, and Joseph Johnson.

Bangor police on Wednesday arrested two people in the slaying of a Bangor man on Nov. 1 in his Essex Street home.

Joseph “JJ” Johnson, 30, of Old Town, and Cote Choneska, 39, of Veazie each are charged with intentional or knowing murder in the death of Berton Conley, 59, Detective Lt. Brent Beaulieu said shortly after 4 p.m.

The men were taken to the Penobscot County Jail, he said.

No new details were released Wednesday. Beaulieu said the killing is still under investigation.

Police were called to 258 Essex St. at about 7:50 a.m. Nov. 1. Firefighters located a fire in the kitchen and Conley was unconscious inside the smoke-filled house.

Conley was brought to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The medical examiner determined the manner of death was a homicide. The cause of death has not been released.

Information about how the two men knew Conley was not released.

Johnson and Choneska are expected to make their first court appearances Thursday or Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Both men also could be charged with arson if there is evidence that they started the fire.

If convicted, each man faces between 25 years to life in prison.


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