A Freeport man was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly stabbing an 82-year-old man to death in the front yard of his Scarborough home.
Quinton Hanna, 22, has been charged with murder in the death of James Pearson, Maine State Police Lt. Mark Holmquist said Tuesday at a press conference at the Scarborough police station.
“We’re still very early in this case,” Holmquist said after announcing Hanna’s arrest. “We have a lot of distance to cover and a lot of information to take in.”
Pearson, 82, was in the front yard of his Beech Ridge Road home about 8:15 a.m. Sunday when Hanna allegedly attacked him. Holmquist said that the Maine medical examiner’s office determined Pearson was stabbed to death.
Neither Pearson nor Hanna knew one another, Holmquist said.
Pearson was well known around Scarborough, where he ran Beech Ridge Christmas Tree Farm on the property where he was attacked. He also spent many years as a drafting and visual arts teacher at Gorham High School. Pearson and his wife were about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
“This has been a difficult few days for us. Our condolences to the Pearson family. … It’s been a tragic loss to our community,” Scarborough police Chief Robert Moulton said.
Hanna will make his first court appearance on the murder charge at Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland later this week, Holmquist said.
Hanna is suspected in at least two other violent attacks in the midcoast over the weekend.
Hanna allegedly sexually assaulted a West Bath woman on Birch Point Road between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday, Holmquist said. The woman got away and began to run down the road, and Hanna drove into her with a silver 2013 Subaru Outback, according to police.
The woman sustained injuries in the attack and remains hospitalized. She is not in critical condition, Holmquist said.
Neighbors on Birch Point Road heard the assault and called the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.
Hanna is also suspected in another attack on Saturday night in Freeport, where a homeowner was stabbed, according to Holmquist. That attack remains under investigation, the lieutenant added.
He was arrested about noon Sunday near Cooks Corner in Brunswick when police there spotted him in a black Ford Explorer reported stolen about 11:17 a.m. on Houghton Pond Road in West Bath, Holmquist said.
Hanna was taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where state police charged him Tuesday morning in connection with Pearson’s death, Holmquist said.
Hanna also has been charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, unlawful sexual contact, robbery, criminal restraint, burglary and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon in the West Bath attack, Holmquist said.
He made his first appearance on those charges at West Bath District Court on Monday, Holmquist said.
Police described the incidents as “targets of opportunity” and said Hanna did not know any of the victims.
Police are still trying to establish whether anything related to drug use, medication or mental health influenced Hanna’s alleged actions.
Hanna has “multiple assaults and thefts in his criminal history,” Holmquist said, though no convictions.
Moulton thanked the community for their “trust and patience” as police worked to piece together information after the homicide.