ROCKLAND, Maine ― As two dozen protesters gathered outside the Knox County Courthouse on Thursday morning, Rep. Jeff Evangelos, I-Friendship, said that Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey is expected to meet with him and others who are demanding that investigators look deeper into the killing of a man on Vinalhaven earlier this summer.
It’s been two months since Roger Feltis, 28, died from neck wounds sustained in an altercation at the island home of Briannah and Dorian Ames. A grand jury declined to indict the Ameses on criminal charges last month after the couple claimed they killed Feltis in self defense following a fight.
But since the Attorney General’s Office closed its investigation into the death last month, more witnesses have spoken out publicly about what happened the night Feltis was killed.
Calls to reopen the case have gained traction after Evangelos submitted a petition on Monday to the Attorney General’s Office, Knox County District Attorney Natasha Irving, Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll and the Maine State Police.
Many say the investigation was handled poorly and question how prosecutors failed to get an indictment.
“We’re not going to give up, we’re not going to stop until there is justice,” Bethany Candage, the sister of Feltis’ girlfriend, said Thursday at the Knox County Courthouse. “What happened should have never happened and having nobody held accountable…is just completely frustrating. It doesn’t give you any closure.”
According to court documents and witnesses, Feltis was unarmed when he went to the home of the Ameses the night he died. While the couple claim Feltis barged into their home, at least five witnesses say the fight between Feltis and the couple happened outside on a porch. A grand jury only heard from one of those witnesses.
Other witnesses say they had to track down detectives to give their statements following Feltis’ death. One said he felt Maine State Police detectives were twisting his words when he was giving his statement.
As tension in the case grows, many islanders are demanding better police protection on Vinalhaven, which has failed to renew its contract with the county sheriff’s department.
“The frustration continues. After voting to not renew the Knox County Sheriff’s Office contract, it’s becoming apparent that we’re not going to settle for having inadequate police coverage,” Candage said Thursday. “We’re at a point now where we’re not going to sit by and let things like this happen.”