March 17, 2010

Biddeford man charged with double murder

From staff reports

Updated at 12:49 p.m.

BIDDEFORD – Friends of the two victims and people who live in the neighborhood said there had been at least one previous altercation between Rory Holland and Derek Greene prior to a deadly shooting early this morning.

Police said Holland, 55, surrendered at about 6 a.m. after staying in his house for five hours after Derek Greene, 21, and his brother Gage, 19, were shot outside of Holland's house on South Street. Holland has been charged with two counts of murder.

Kurtis White, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was riding up South Street on his bicycle around 1 a.m. when he saw Gage Greene and Holland arguing.

"They were arguing over something, and he (Holland) shot him (Gage Greene) in the chest," White said. "When I went to see if Gage was OK, he (Holland) put the gun on me and then Derek came from across the street."

White said Holland then pointed the gun at Derek Greene, who turned away. Holland then shot Derek Greene twice in the back and then went inside his house, according to White.

According to friends of the Greene brothers, Holland and Derek Greene got into a fight about a month ago.

Elijah Copeland said Derek Greene then got him to return with him and confront Holland. The two fought again, and Copeland said he broke up the fight. When police showed up and put handcuffs on Holland, Derek Greene hit him again, and Copeland said he and Derek Greene were then arrested. Copeland said he was charged with criminal threatening.

Biddeford police refused today to provide any information on previous contact between Greene and Holland, saying it is now part of their investigation into the shooting.

10:55 a.m

A Biddeford man who once ran for mayor has been charged with shooting to death two men in front of his house this morning.

hollandRory Holland, 55, at right, of 58 South St. in Biddeford, surrendered to a York County SWAT team at 6 a.m. after a five-hour standoff with police. Police charged Holland with shooting Gage Greene, 19, and Derek Greene, 21, at 1 a.m. in front of his house.

The Greenes were brothers, police said.

Neighbors called police, who said Holland refused to come out of his house.

Police could not describe the circumstances that led to the shooting. "We have a team of detectives there along with Biddeford police, gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and piecing together the circumstances," said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police.

Holland has been in the news before, when he ran for mayor in 1999 and 2001. A Biddeford man, Robert Kalex, was convicted of violating an injunction that barred him from communicating with Holland, with whom he had a history of tensions. Kalex had been accused of driving past Holland, who is black, and threatening to shoot him. Kalex also had marched in front of Holland's house wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style costume, though he was never criminally charged in that incident.

Holland served a two-year prison sentence in Kansas in the late 1970s for attempted murder, aggravated assault and simple battery on his 16-month-old daughter.

Holland was convicted of assault in 1991 in Portland and was later banned from dealing with clerks at the Portland District Court.

He also was charged with kidnapping a young woman and her baby, though the charges were dropped, and assaulting and terrorizing tenants of his South Street house, though he was acquitted.

Holland also has been involved in disputes with the city of Biddeford over city codes, in a case that went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

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