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MACHIAS, Maine — Two days before Jennifer Bryant Flynn and Regina Long were gunned down in Machias and Jonesboro, both expressed fears that they would be shot to death. But the person they feared was not the man charged in the Monday shooting spree that left three dead and one injured.
The person they feared was another victim in Monday’s triple homicide, Shawn Currey, 57, of Machias, said a friend of Flynn of 25 years, who hung out with the pair on Saturday, eating popcorn chicken and drinking coffee.
“I’ve never seen fear like I saw in [Flynn], or have had her ever speak to me about God like that,” said the friend, who asked for anonymity because she feared for her safety. Flynn “never asked me before about God like that.”
A Machias resident, the 49-year-old Flynn, Currey and Samuel Powers, 33, of Jonesboro, were killed in the shooting spree, while Long was wounded and remained at a hospital in Portland on Thursday. Her condition was upgraded from critical to serious, a hospital spokesperson said.
The four victims and 63-year-old Thomas Bonfanti of Northfield, the man charged in the shootings, all knew each other, Bonfanti’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, said this week. But the sequence of events and what allegedly drove Bonfanti to shoot them is still unknown.
Long suffered violence and jealousy at the hands of Currey, said Flynn’s friend, who was friends with Long for three years.
Flynn “figured the shooter would be Regina’s boyfriend [Currey]. He hated her,” said the friend. “They had their issues before because of his jealousy of Jennifer being a friend of Regina’s.”
Court records show that Currey was released from the Washington County Jail just last week, on Thursday, after serving 40 days on charges of domestic violence assault and refusal to submit to arrest or detention. Those charges stemmed from an incident on Dec. 23, when Currey allegedly threatened to kill Long and was destroying portions of the Kennebec Road home they had shared since last summer when Washington County sheriff’s deputies arrived at about 10 p.m., according to court documents.
Long told Deputy Christopher Simpson during his investigation of the incident that Currey “was habitually verbally and physically abusive toward her. He had made repeated threats to kill her.”
Long told Simpson that Currey, who had been drinking vodka and smoking marijuana when police arrived on Dec. 23, grabbed her and bit her right hand when she pushed him away. A photograph of the injured hand was included in Simpson’s report. Currey also banged his head against a kitchen table several times and then blamed her for forcing him to hurt himself, according to Simpson’s report.
“Long was reluctant to cooperate with a written statement or with pressing charges against Currey. She appeared nervous and frightened that he would harm her further and would become even angrier if she did anything,” Simpson wrote.
Currey became so violent, screaming obscenities at the deputies, that Simpson had to shoot him with a Taser to take him into custody, according to Simpson’s affidavit.
This was not unusual behavior for Currey, the friend said.
“He controlled her,” she said. Regina “would say that she was not allowed to leave the house or go to Jennifer’s or anything like that. She was so confined by his jealousy and rage and couldn’t do anything. He had some kind of power over her for sure.”
Flynn tried to help Long, staying with her at Long and Currey’s home for part of last weekend. Like Long, Flynn had difficulties with drug addiction in her family, her friend said.
Flynn was a caring mother with two daughters and a generous friend, her friend said. She attended group drug counseling sessions on Tuesdays. A housewife married for several years to a carpenter and handyman, Flynn worked occasionally through the years as a clerk and cashier at local stores, her friend said.
She and Flynn would go shopping together or talk daily on social media, she said. The friend said she was mystified when she heard that Bonfanti was arrested.
“I don’t even know that guy or why it would be him,” she said.
Bonfanti and Currey might have settled their differences at the Washington County Jail, but they missed each other there by a day. Bonfanti was arrested on a charge of operating under the influence last Friday, on Jan. 31. He posted an unsecured bond of $500 before being released.
Currey had finished serving his sentence on the domestic violence charges the day before.