A 40-year-old Portland man accused of shooting his longtime domestic partner to death Jan. 7 waived his right to an initial court appearance Tuesday.

Anthony Leng will instead move to have a probable cause hearing, which could be held as early as next week, where prosecutors will present evidence they believe shows probable cause to charge Leng with murdering Sohka Khuon. His defense attorneys, meanwhile, will also have the chance to call witnesses and produce evidence.

After the hearing, the issue of bail may be decided.

Leng was present in the courthouse but did not appear in the courtroom. He will be held without bail at the Cumberland County Jail until the hearing, by agreement of prosecutors and Leng’s defense attorney.

Leng is charged with one count of murder for allegedly shooting Khuon, 36, inside the Dorothy Street home in Portland they shared with two of their children. Police said previously that they were called to the home by a neighbor who heard multiple shots about 10 p.m. that night.

An autopsy by the state Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Khuon died from “multiple gunshot wounds” and her death was ruled a homicide, police said.

When officers arrived they found two of the couple’s children outside, police said previously.

Two of the couple’s children, a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old, were home at the time of the shooting. They are being cared for by family members and are receiving counseling, police said previously. A third child, age 18, was not living at home when the shooting occurred, neighbors said.

Leng, a maintenance worker for the Portland Housing Authority since 2006, was known among neighbors as a family-oriented man who went out of his way to help others.

Police said Leng had no history of domestic violence or other crimes, and that a handgun was used in the killing. Leng was known to be a hunter and sportsman, and owned firearms and hunting bows, neighbors said.

Justice Joyce Wheeler granted a motion to impound the police affidavit, and during the brief court hearing, no new details were offered that would shed light on what investigators believe led to the shooting.

Khuon, a native of Thailand and a 2000 graduate of Portland High School, worked at Direct Mail Maine.

Leng was placed on administrative leave, Mark Adelson, executive director of the housing authority, said in an email Tuesday to housing authority commissioners.

“We’re in shock that something like this could happen,” Adelson said in the email. “We don’t know any of the circumstances. You don’t believe it can happen here until it does.”

In an interview Leng’s arrest, Adelson said that Leng called his supervisor after the shooting.

“Anthony had called and said he wouldn’t be in to work, and that there had been a shooting at his home,” Adelson said. “When he didn’t return to work, we put him on administrative leave.”

Adelson described Leng as “a steady worker” with good skills who seemed to get along with everyone.

In Khuon’s obituary Saturday in the Portland Press Herald, her family described her as sweet and outgoing with a great sense of humor. They said she liked to spend time with her children, friends and family, as well as to garden, fish and cook new recipes.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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