The family of the man who was killed on Vinalhaven last summer wants the Maine attorney general’s office to be more transparent in providing information regarding the state’s investigation into the killing.
Amy Fairfield, the attorney representing the family of Roger Feltis, filed a complaint against Attorney General Aaron Frey in Lincoln County court Tuesday afternoon. The filing asks a judge to weigh in on whether the limitations that the attorney general’s office has placed on the family’s access to the investigative file are “reasonable” under state statute.
Feltis, 28, was killed on June 14, 2020, at the Roberts Cemetery Road home of Briannah and Dorian Ames. The couple has claimed self-defense in the killing and a Knox County grand jury failed to indict the couple last July.
Witnesses who were there the night Feltis died dispute the self-defense claim and have criticized the state’s handling of the case. In August, Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, filed a petition to reopen the investigation into the high-profile homicide. In November, the attorney general’s office announced it would not be reopening the case.
Tuesday’s court filing doubles down on the allegations that the investigation was mishandled by law enforcement. In the complaint, Fairfield argues that since the file contains information regarding alleged police misconduct, the attorney general’s office should not be placing confidentiality restrictions on access to the file.
“It defies logic, statutory authority, and constitutional paradigm, that the file could
contain information that illustrates misconduct by police officials, resulting in a miscarriage of justice, and that information would remain confidential,” the complaint said.
Fairfield and members of the Feltis family were able to review the file last month. However, in order to receive copies of any documents, Fairfield said the attorney general’s office required the family and Fairfield to sign a confidentiality agreement that would prevent them from sharing the information contained in the file. Neither the Feltis family nor Fairfield agreed to sign the confidentiality agreement.
“You need to let this stuff be public because I can get a copy of the file at this moment but I have to sign my life away to a confidentiality agreement,” Fairfield said Tuesday.
Furthermore, Fairfield alleges that the “file contains gross misconduct by police officers, and concerted actions by prosecutors continue to cover for officer misconduct,” according to her complaint.
Fairfield declined to specify the alleged misconduct or how she feels police and prosecutors mishandled the case. However, she did say that she takes issue with the medical examiner’s determination that Feltis was killed with a filet-style knife and not an axe, as witnesses have said.
“As far as I’m concerned, if they didn’t do anything wrong they should welcome the public scrutiny,” Fairfield said. “You’ve got a lot of people who were part of this, either witnessed themselves or felt the effects of it after the fact and they’ve got a lot of questions.”
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the attorney general’s office had not yet received the complaint, according to a spokesperson, and therefore has no comment on the allegations.