ROCKLAND, Maine — After reviewing additional witness statements and evidence, the Maine Attorney General’s Office this week said the investigation into the killing of a Vinalhaven man this summer will remain closed.
It follows a months-long plea from the victim’s family and a state lawmaker, who have pushed for the attorney general to reopen the case.
In July, a grand jury declined to indict an island couple involved in the killing of Roger Feltis.
Feltis, 28, died in June from neck wounds suffered in an altercation at the island home of Briannah and Dorian Ames. The couple claimed they killed Feltis in self defense.
But witnesses who were there the night Feltis died dispute that claim and have criticized the state’s handling of the case. In August, Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, filed a petition to reopen the high-profile homicide.
It’s rare for the attorney general’s office to reopen an investigation after a grand jury declines to make an indictment, but in a September meeting with family members, witnesses and Evangelos, prosecutors and investigators expressed interest in obtaining additional witness statements and information that might be pertinent.
However, after reviewing new details, Evangelos said, “the AG’s office still feels that Maine’s ‘self-defense’ laws will not enable them to bring any charges forward.”
Under Maine law, a person is justified in using deadly force against another when they believe that individual is going to use deadly force against themselves or a third person. The use of deadly force is also justified when a person believes that another is attempting to enter or has entered their home without permission and force is necessary to prevent that person from inflicting bodily harm on the people in the home.
Feltis was unarmed when he went to the home of the Ameses the night he died, according to court documents and witnesses. While the couple claim Feltis barged into their home, at least five witnesses say the fight between Feltis and the couple took place on a porch outside.
They said the Ameses never issued a verbal warning “to leave the property or else.”