December 5, 2012

Waterville suspect to face murder charge, authorities say

A Winslow man claims he fired in self-defense.

Staff video by David Leaming: The Waterville fatal shooting press conference Wednesday morning. Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey speaks first; state police Lt. Christopher Coleman speaks second,

By AMY CALDER and BEN McCANNA Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE – A Winslow man who allegedly shot a man to death outside a downtown bar late Tuesday faces a murder charge, police said.

click image to enlarge

Matthew Partridge, of Winslow, is led into District Court in Waterville on Wednesday for an initial appearance in the shooting death of Justin Smith, of China, n Waterville late Tuesday evening.

David Leaming / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

The victim of a shooting is loaded into an ambulance on The Concourse in Waterville late Tuesday night.

Michael G. Seamans / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

Matthew Partridge, 30, left in a pickup truck after shooting Justin V. Smith, 26, of South China and was caught about 20 minutes later by a state police trooper in Smithfield, according to an affidavit filed by police Wednesday in Waterville District Court.

During the traffic stop, Partridge told police that he had shot a man, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit includes differing accounts of the incident from four men, including Partridge.

By all accounts, the incident began with an altercation outside the You Know Whose Pub on The Concourse and ended a few minutes later, when Partridge and his friend returned in Partridge's truck. Partridge allegedly shot Smith in the face and drove off.

At 11:05 p.m., police got a 911 call from the scene. One of Smith's friends told the dispatcher that Smith was "laying dead in the street."

Smith was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer Campus, where he was pronounced dead. Police broadcast an "attempt to locate" call for a Dodge Dakota pickup truck, the affidavit says.

At 11:26 p.m., Trooper Sam Tlumac saw the truck on Route 8 in Smithfield, stopped it and handcuffed Partridge, the affidavit says.

While Tlumac led Partridge to the cruiser, Partridge said he had shot a man while defending himself, according to the affidavit, which includes a written transcript of a recorded conversation.

"I tried to defend myself and I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, if I was doing the right thing," Partridge said. "And I shot the guy."

Partridge said he was punched in the face and thought his nose might be broken, according to the affidavit.

Tlumac smelled alcohol on Partridge's breath and his speech appeared to be slow and slurred, according to the affidavit. Tlumac also found a 9 mm Sig Saur handgun in the truck, according to the affidavit.

Later, in an interview with state police Detective Bryant Jacques, Partridge said he had fired multiple shots at Smith because he was "scared and in fear," according to the affidavit.

Partridge appeared in Waterville District Court on Wednesday afternoon. He spoke only once, to tell Judge Robert Mullen that he had no questions about his rights.

Mullen said Partridge will be held without bail until a bail hearing can be scheduled.

Partridge's mother, Diana Michaud of Winslow, said her son obtained a concealed-weapon permit for a 9 mm handgun within the last few months. The family goes camping up north and keeps guns for use in case bears pose a danger, she said.

Partridge graduated from Winslow High School in 2001 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002. He was a lance corporal and served four active and four inactive years, including about eight months in Iraq in 2005, she said.

Smith's family couldn't be reached for comment by phone or at his home Wednesday.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

acalder@centralmaine.com

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Ben McCanna can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

bmccanna@centralmaine.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Police investigate the scene where a man was shot on The Concourse late Tuesday night in Waterville.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Police investigate the scene where a man was shot on The Concourse late Tuesday night in Waterville.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Police investigate the scene where a man was shot on The Concourse late Tuesday night in Waterville.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Police investigate the scene where a man was shot on The Concourse late Tuesday night in Waterville.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Police investigate the scene where a man was shot on The Concourse late Tuesday night in Waterville.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

 


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)