Thursday, April 17, 2014
By MICHAEL SHEPHERD Kennebec Journal
An Augusta felon wanted after a Gardiner shooting was arrested early Friday in Massachusetts along with his girlfriend and brother. Police said they recovered a gun and what they believe is heroin.
Paul Coyne, 30, of Augusta was caught about 1 a.m. by the Massachusetts State Police’s violent fugitive unit in Lynn, just north of Boston.
His girlfriend, Martha Brown, 22, of Lynn, and his brother, Michael Coyne, 32, of Mercer, were with him in a parked car, according to a news release from the Massachusetts State Police. Together, the three face 11 charges, including alleged drug and gun offenses.
Police wanted Paul Coyne, who had seven warrants out for his arrest, in connection with a shooting Thursday morning on Spring Street in Gardiner, but he had not been charged with it as of Friday.
The victim, a 26-year-old man whom police haven’t identified, was found early Thursday shot in the leg in his apartment at 32 Spring St., but the gunman wasn’t there.
The victim was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, and was expected to make a full recovery. He has been interviewed by police, said Gardiner Police Chief James Toman.
Dwight Fowles, acting director of security for the Maine Department of Corrections, said Friday that after the shooting probation officers and investigators began searching for information on Coyne’s whereabouts. Coyne was on probation, and an officer learned that Coyne and Brown had left Maine and were in the Lowell, Mass., area.
Police said after the shooting they believed that Coyne was a passenger in a silver Chevrolet sedan. That matched the description of the car Massachusetts police found Friday morning.
Massachusetts State Police said they recovered a 9 mm pistol, ammunition, a white powdery substance believed to be heroin and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.
On Friday, Paul Coyne was charged with knowingly being around heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws, disguising his identity to obstruct justice and being a fugitive from justice. Brown was cited on two gun charges, two drug charges and a knife violation, and Michael Coyne on two drug charges, Massachusetts State Police said. The three were arraigned Friday in Lynn District Court.
Toman said police haven’t determined a motive in the shooting, saying only that there was a disagreement that turned physical and ended with a gunshot.
“We’ve only gotten half of the story,” Toman said. “We’ve got to try and talk to (Paul) Coyne and his girlfriend.”
Paul Coyne has a lengthy criminal history. Most recently, in February 2013, he was sentenced to four years in jail, with all but six months suspended and two years probation, on convictions of assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs after reportedly stabbing a man in Winthrop during a fight related to drugs.
In August 2009, he was convicted on multiple charges, including theft, eluding an officer and operating under the influence, after leading police on a 30-mile chase. During the pursuit, he rammed a police cruiser in Augusta.
Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at: