Breaking News
More () »

Trial begins in Maine man accused of shooting four, killing three in 2020

Defendant Bonafanti, 65, gives opening statement, alleging victims were “drug addicts”

BELFAST, Maine — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above aired Feb. 4, 2020.

Opening statements began Wednesday in Belfast in the trial of Thomas Bonfanti, the Washington County man charged with murder in the February 2020 shooting deaths of Shawn Currey, Jennifer Bryant Flynn, and Samuel Powers.

Bonfanti, now 65, of Northfield, is also charged with aggravated attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault after allegedly shooting and injuring Regina Long the same day, Feb. 3, 2020, in Machias and Jonesport.

The trial began with a twist when defense attorney Jeff Toothaker told Justice Bruce Mallonee that his client would make his own opening statement.

Bonfanti spoke following an opening statement by Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis.

“Basically, all the evidence will show we had a couple of accidents, self-defense, and I think all the evidence will show that,” Bonfanti said.

Bonfanti said he was a veteran of the U.S. Army and later became actively involved in the American Legion in Machias.

He said the people shot were all “drug addicts” with “serious records,” while he has none.

Bonfanti said evidence found at the house would prove his story.

"Wait until you see what they found at the house," Toothaker said during the recess.

RELATED: Jury selection begins in triple murder case of Northfield man

Prior to Bonfanti’s statement, Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis said Bonfanti “set out with a plan” on Feb. 3, 2020, went to three homes, and murdered three people, intending to kill a fourth.

Ellis said Bonfanti “was not unknown to these people.”

Ellis said he first went to Powers’ mother’s home and was greeted by his mother, Elizabeth Powers, who then left. Elizabeth Powers returned several hours later and found her son dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

He then allegedly went to Bryant Flynn’s Machias home and shot her in the front of the head. She was found dead by her husband, Gordon Flynn.

RELATED: Maine triple homicide trial set to start, could last 2 weeks

Ellis said Bonfanti then went a short distance to Currey’s house, where Currey and his companion, Long, were home.

“She invited him in, she gave him a hug, they sat down and had coffee,” Ellis said, and then after 15 to 20 minutes, Long was shot in the head and neck. Currey was then shot twice, and Long shot again in the neck.

Ellis said that as Long lay on the floor pretending she was dead, Bonfanti shot her again in the shoulder.

She was treated and released from Maine Medical, police said at the time of the shootings.

Bonfanti said witnesses would testify that Bonfanti then went to the American Legion hall, put $789 on the bar, and said, “This is my cremation money. I just shot seven people. I snapped. They finally made me snap.”

Ellis showed the jury an automatic handgun that he said Bonfanti used to shoot four people. Ellis said it was found on the front seat of Bonfanti’s car.

More NEWS CENTER Maine Stories

Before You Leave, Check This Out