November 26, 2013

Vassalboro man charged with murder in stabbing death

Courtney Shea, 30, says the man molested him as a child and was making sexual advances again.

By MICHAEL SHEPHERD Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A Vassalboro man told police that he killed an older Waterville man who had molested him as a child after the man made sexual advances toward him in a car on Thursday night.

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Courtney Shea

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Courtney Shea is interviewed by police on Friday after he reported a body found outside an empty mobile home in Vassalboro. Shea is now charged with murder in Thomas Namer’s death.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Additional Photos Below

Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Monday that 30-year-old Courtney Shea was charged with murder in the death of Thomas Namer, 69, of Waterville, whose body was found behind an abandoned trailer on Riverside Drive, or Route 201, in Vassalboro on Friday morning.

In an affidavit filed in court Monday and written by state police Detective Abbe Chabot, Shea alleged that Namer, the victim, often gave rides and purchased cigarettes, alcohol and drugs for young children in exchange for sexual favors. Shea said Namer had sexually abused him when he was 11 years old, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from being sexually abused earlier in life.

Namer was known for giving rides to people. Friends of his have told the Morning Sentinel that he would often go to Waterville bars and give people rides home at night.

But one of those friends, Dana Oakes, 44, of Waterville, said he doesn’t believe Shea’s allegations against his friend, saying since Namer was known to be gay, he thought made-up charges of molestation may enter the murder case.

“Tom is not that way. He would never touch a child,” said Oakes, adding that he met Namer through a cousin when he was 13 years old. “I knew his name was going to be slammed up and down because he’s gay.”

The affidavit said Shea told police that he was drunk when he called Namer to his mother’s home on 2349 Riverside Drive, where he lived, for a ride on Friday night. Shea told police that when Namer made sexual advances toward him and grabbed his genitals, Shea said he “blacked out” and stabbed Namer to death.

After that, Shea said he drove Namer’s car to lower Water Street in Waterville and called a friend for a ride. When the friend and his girlfriend went to pick Shea up, the friend told police that Shea told him he “(expletive) up” and drove someone’s car to Waterville. The friend said Shea had alcohol with him in the car, and the friend took Shea back to his apartment, where they drank and played video games overnight.

The friend said Shea ended up calling his mother for a ride home to Vassalboro around 4:30 a.m. Friday and left Waterville. Shea’s mother, Hazel Rossignol, told police that on the way home, her son admitted to killing Namer because of the sexual advances, according to the affidavit.

Shea’s brother, Robert Varney, told police that Shea woke him up at 5:45 a.m. to say he killed Namer and needed help digging a hole to put the body in. Varney said Shea took him outside and showed him the body. Varney said he urged Shea to call 911.

Shea’s stepfather, Joseph Rossignol, also told police that Shea asked for his help in getting rid of Namer’s body, but Rossignol said he retreated into his garage to avoid Shea. He was about to call 911, he said, before he learned Shea was calling 911 himself.

Detective Chabot’s affidavit said Shea called 911 at 6:46 a.m., saying there was a dead man next to his home. At the scene, Varney told Sgt. David Bucknam of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office that Shea had killed a man, and Shea told Deputy Galen Estes he got scared after killing the man, so he drove to Waterville.

State police said Namer’s body was found behind an abandoned mobile home next door to Shea’s home, but the affidavit is unclear on how Namer’s body got from his car to the mobile home, and McCausland said Monday he had no information to supplement the affidavit, “which lays out the state’s case completely,” he said. McCausland has said that Namer’s car was recovered in Waterville.

(Continued on page 2)

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Courtney Shea

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