BELFAST, Maine — A jury convicted a Maine man of killing three people, rejecting his claims that the shootings were accidents and self defense.
Thomas Bonfanti, 65, of Northfield was accused of traveling to three homes and killing three people in February 2020 in Washington County. Another victim survived being shot in the neck.
A jury on Wednesday convicted him of murder, aggravated attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.
Bonfanti’s contention that he shot two people by accident and the other two in self defense was “pure and utter nonsense,” Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis told the Bangor Daily News.
“We felt the evidence was very strong and compelling from the beginning of the case and obviously the jury agreed,” he said.
Bonfanti told jurors he went to the three homes because he wanted to talk to the victims about missing American Legion funds. His attorney, Jeff Toothaker, acknowledged that Bonfanti’s explanation was “a tough sell.”
Those killed were 57-year-old Shawn Currey of Machias, 49-year-old Jennifer Bryant Flynn of Machias, and 33-year-old and Samuel Powers of Jonesboro, at their three separate homes in Machias and Jonesboro.
The survivor, Regina Long, refuted Bonfanti's version of events about a struggle over a gun. She testified she'd served him coffee before he held a gun to her neck and fired. His motives were unclear.
The trial was moved Waldo County Superior Court because of concerns about pretrial publicity in Washington County, where the killings took place.