In the weeks before he shot and killed his wife, Noah Gaston was increasingly frustrated about his job prospects, according to friends and members of his church. He dreamed of being a musician and living in a commune of artists, and he blamed his wife for standing in the way. He also complained that he wasn’t satisfied with their sex life.

Gaston, 33, of Windham, was in court this week for a hearing to determine whether he will be allowed bail pending his murder trial. No decision was made, but an updated police affidavit filed with the court before that hearing provided new information about the Gastons’ relationship and the circumstances leading up to Alicia Gaston’s death.

Gaston has said that he shot his wife in the stomach by mistake, believing she was an intruder in their house. But police said his explanation of the events doesn’t add up. Specifically, police said he should have been able to see that it was his wife coming up the stairs, not a random intruder, when he fired. The forensic analysis also suggested that Alicia Gaston was shot at close range.

Gaston said his wife was at the bottom, or near the bottom, of the stairs when he fired, but police said evidence shows that the two were standing much closer to each other.

Also, Gaston told police that he and his wife were not having marital problems and didn’t argue before the morning of Jan. 14. However, police interviews with several friends who knew the Gastons and with the couple’s two daughters, who are 8 and 9, contradict his claim.

The 8-year-old told police that she heard her parents yelling in “their scared voices,” Maine State Police Detective Ethel Ross wrote, and then heard “someone tumbling down the stairs.” Asked whether her parents yelled often, the girl said, “sometimes you hear it seven times a week and sometimes you hear it once, or one time a month.”


Luke Rioux, Gaston’s attorney, declined to comment on the case, other than to say that if a judge believes probable cause exists to support a murder charge, his client likely will continue to be held without bail.

The new affidavit relies on interviews with several friends and church members who told police that the Gastons’ marriage was rocky. A former co-worker of Noah Gaston’s said she never saw the couple be affectionate toward each other and also said Gaston complained that his wife was not adventurous enough for him sexually.

Gaston also lamented that having to work took him away from music, his passion. But Alicia Gaston, the sister of a Portland Press Herald photographer, was a stay-at-home mom who home-schooled their two daughters and also cared for their 2-year-old son.

He told other friends that his wife got in the way of his music career and that he wanted to “move away and start his own community of artisans, live off the land and live communal,” the affidavit said. Another friend said Gaston was obsessed with being a prophet and “always had a dark side.” Another said Gaston often initiated “unorthodox theological conversations.”

Alicia Gaston, friends said, worried constantly about money and paying bills, but she didn’t push her husband to get a job.

On the morning of Jan. 14, she had gotten up early and, police said, had called the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) automated line for the state of Maine, which manages various public assistance funds, including food stamps. The balance on the account was zero. Three minutes later, she was dead.


After police noticed inconsistencies in Noah Gaston’s explanation of the events that morning, they questioned him again about why hearing noises downstairs made him believe there was an intruder in his home. Initially, Gaston had told police that he thought he had heard a conversation through a walkie-talkie.

Asked why he made the leap from hearing noises to assuming it was an intruder, Gaston replied, “Cause I’m a (expletive) idiot.”

Police re-created the lighting that would have been on in the house at the time of Alicia’s death and concluded there was no logical way that Gaston didn’t recognize whom he was shooting.

According to the affidavit, two friends who picked up Gaston at the police station after he was questioned by detectives told police he showed little emotion or remorse about his wife’s death. He was more interested in telling them about a song he had just written.

Alicia Gaston’s family declined to comment Wednesday.

The state prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.


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