January 8, 2013

Defendant's child: 'He shot my mom'

The oldest of victim Renee Sandora’s four children testifies about the 2011 killings he witnessed in New Gloucester.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Defendant Joel Hayden said “Daddy loves you” after his 8-year-old son told the court that Hayden shot his girlfriend and a longtime friend in New Gloucester.

Troy R. Bennett/pool photo

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Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber holds a bag of spent shell casings found at the scene of the crime as he presents his opening arguments in the Joel Hayden double murder trial in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland on Monday.

Pool Photo / Troy R. Bennet

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The first witness called in the case was a Maine State Police dispatcher, Marcia Gilpatrick, who received the first 911 call from 322 Bennett Road.

“It was a female, and she was a little panicked,” Gilpatrick said.

A prosecutor played a recording of the 911 call, in which a woman said, “My boyfriend just shot me. He shot his buddy too. I have four kids.”

The woman can then be heard yelling at someone else before the call ends abruptly.

The first person to arrive at the scene of the shooting was the Rev. Leslie Foley, who lived across the street.

On the witness stand, Foley said she heard the first round of gunfire, but dismissed it as hunters.

She then heard more gunfire as she went to her car to retrieve her cell phone.

“I heard a young voice saying, ‘Don’t shoot.’ I heard a couple more rounds of gunfire, and I heard a voice saying, ‘Don’t leave,’” Foley said.

She said she then saw a dark-colored car “peel out” from the gravel driveway of 322 Bennett Road and “race by.”

Sandora was still alive at that point, with “her body working hard to take in air and expel air,” Foley said.

Foley helped gather the children and spoke to the first police officer who arrived. The officer told them to gather in the basement of her home for safety, she testified.

Two state police troopers, Nathaniel Jamo and Douglas Cropper, testified about arriving at the scene of the shooting, their differing priorities and how they removed Sandora from the driveway and Mills from the doorway, both of them still alive.

Testimony is expected Tuesday from police about the high-speed chase that led to Hayden’s arrest, and from a doctor regarding the autopsies on the victims.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at sdolan@mainetoday.com

 

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