If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.
Twenty-two people died in homicides in Maine in 2019, including six during a five-day stretch in March, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. That is four more homicide victims than in 2018 and one more than 2017’s tally.
None of the deaths last year rattled Mainers and evoked strong emotions throughout the state as did the 2018 slayings of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy in February and Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole. But the slaying of a black Muslim man by the brother of his girlfriend drew national attention as Portland’s Somali community expressed frustration and disappointment over the lack of information provided by Portland police about the shooting death of Isahak Muse, 22.
Maine has averaged 22 homicides a year over the last decade.
In recent years, the highest number of homicides occurred in 2008, when 31 Maine residents were killed. That year, five of the victims were children under the age of 3.
Ten of the 22 deaths in 2019, or slightly less than half, were classified as domestic violence-related. In 2018, nine, or half the homicides, involved domestic violence.
The state characterizes a case as a domestic violence homicide when a family member kills another family member or intimate partner.
Police are still searching for the alleged perpetrators in two homicides.
Here are the homicides of 2019 and the dates and the towns where they occurred.
Jan. 1, Paris
Heather Bickford and Dana Hill, both 31, were shot to death inside a downtown apartment. Mark Penley, Bickford’s former boyfriend, is charged with two counts of murder. Penley, 49, of Peru is scheduled to be tried March 10 at the Oxford County Courthouse in South Paris.
Jan. 14, Clifton
Kary Dill, 35, was shot to death inside her home. Her long-term boyfriend, Dwight Osgood Jr., 37, of Clifton is charged with murder. He is scheduled to be tried June 23 at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Feb. 21, Owls Head
Helen Carver, 83, was beaten to death inside her home. Sarah Richards, 37, of South Thomaston, whom Carver had hired to shovel snow, is charged with murder. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and is tentatively scheduled to be tried in August at the Knox County Court Courthouse in Rockland.
March 15, Swanville
Shane Sauer, 26, of Belfast was shot to death outside a cabin. Austin McDevitt, 22, of Morrill is charged with murder. The two men were dating the same woman. McDevitt is set to be tried in April at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast.
March 16, Portland
Isahak Muse, 22, of Portland was shot to death inside a home on Milton Street. Mark Cardilli Jr., the brother of the victim’s girlfriend, was charged with murder. Cardilli, 24, of Portland claimed he acted in self-defense. Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills on Friday found Cardilli guilty of manslaughter following a jury-waived trial at the Cumberland County Courthouse held earlier in December. Cardilli is being held without bail while awaiting sentencing. He faces between four and 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
March 17, Portland
Patricia Grassi, 59, was strangled inside a Cumberland Avenue apartment. Her boyfriend, Gregory Vance, 61, pleaded guilty to murder in November. His plea agreement with the Maine attorney general’s office calls for a sentence of between 25, the mandatory minimum, and 35 years. His sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 19, has been delayed. No new date was available Tuesday.
March 17, Presque Isle
Fourteen-month-old Quinten Leavitt was slain by his father, Matthew Leavitt, 35, in the family home. The father then fatally shot himself.
March 19, Old Orchard Beach
William Popplewell, 65, was beaten and stabbed to death inside his apartment. His roommate, Dustan Bentley, 30, is charged with murder. His trial is scheduled to begin June 1 at the York County Courthouse in Alfred.
March 19, Gardiner
Autumn Bryant, 44, was fatally shot by her estranged husband, Kenneth Bryant, 48, at a home in Gardiner where she had been staying. Bryant later killed himself.
May 11, Lebanon
Allison Parker, 30, was fatally shot by her long-term boyfriend, Thomas Doyon, who then fatally shot himself at their home.
July 19, Waterboro
Christal Denis, 45, was fatally shot by her husband, Christopher Denis, 45, who then fatally shot himself at their home.
July 27, Auburn
Jean Fournier, 41, of Turner was shot to death in the Walmart parking lot. Gage Dalphonse, 21, of Auburn is charged with murder. He is tentatively scheduled to be tried June 8 at the Androscoggin County Courthouse in Auburn.
Aug. 3, Portland
Rodney Cleveland, 63, was beaten in his Danforth Street apartment. He died six weeks later at a local hospital. His neighbor, Everett Meserve, 62, is charged with murder. He is set to be tried Aug. 10 at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.
Aug. 12, Castle Hill
Roger Ellis, 51, and Allen Curtis, 25, both of Castle Hill were shot to death inside Ellis’ pickup on Route 227. Bobby Nightingale, 38, of Presque Isle has been charged with two counts of murder. A trial date in Aroostook County has not been set.
Aug. 31, Leeds
Nadi Hagi Mohamed, 31, formerly of Minnesota was found shot to death along a road in Leeds. Maine State Police continue to investigate his death.
Oct. 11, Richmond
Andrew Sherman, 48, was found dead inside his home. Maine State Police continue to investigate his death.
Oct. 22, Waterville
Melissa Sousa, 29, was shot to death inside her home. Her longtime boyfriend, Nicholas Lovejoy, 28, of Waterville is charged with murder. A trial date at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta has not been set.
Nov. 1, Bangor
Firefighters located a fire in the kitchen of Berton Conley’s Essex Street home and found the 59-year-old unconscious in the smoke-filled house. Joseph Johnson, 30, of Old Town and Cote Choneska, 39, of Veazie were charged with murder Dec. 4. They have not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury.
Nov. 11, Augusta
Loryn McCollett, 30, was stabbed to death inside the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Eric Ryan, 30. Ryan then fatally shot himself.
Dec. 15, Scarborough
James Pearson, 82, was stabbed to death in the front yard of his home. Quinton Hanna, 22, of Freeport has been charged with murder.
The deaths of Bickford, Hill, Dill, Grassi, Leavitt, Bryant, Parker, Denis, Sousa and McCollett were classified as domestic violence homicides.