Annabelle Hartnett stands on Woodford Street in Portland near where she was shot and her friend Darry Coffin was killed on April 26. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

A woman who survived and witnessed a deadly shooting on Woodford Street was arrested Tuesday night by Portland police on misdemeanor charges unrelated to the killing.

Annabelle Hartnett, 27, faces charges of theft by receiving stolen property and of violating the conditions of her bail put in place from a prior arrest.

Hartnett was shot through the arm by the same man who killed Derald “Darry” Coffin, 43, in the 100 block of Woodford Street at about 1 a.m. on April 26. She said she and Coffin were sitting in her SUV when three men ambushed them, pulled Coffin out of the passenger side of the vehicle and beat him, and then one of the attackers pulled out a gun and shot Coffin twice.

The gunman then turned the weapon on Hartnett, she said, nearly shooting her in the head before firing a second round that wounded her.

Hartnett says that police mistreated her in the hours after the shooting and she has refused to cooperate with them – a fact that has likely frustrated investigators.

After the shooting, police impounded Hartnett’s Range Rover SUV and quickly obtained a warrant to search it, according to court records filed Wednesday. She had been living out of the vehicle with her boyfriend, and said previously that it contained all of her possessions.


In the vehicle, investigators found a MacBook laptop and an iPad with serial numbers that matched identical items that had been reported stolen from an Old Port office in early March, according to court records, which did not include the full inventory of the search.

Police said there were other items that appeared to match the descriptions of goods taken during other burglaries, raising the possibility there could be more charges forthcoming.


At a brief hearing Wednesday, Justice John O’Neil ordered Hartnett held without bail for violating the terms of her release from an earlier criminal case, but her attorney will have an opportunity to try to get that ruling reversed in the future. She is being held on $200 bail on the new theft charge.

Attempts to reach Hartnett at the jail were not successful. She did not respond to an electronic message sent to her through a jail-approved messaging app, and a request to speak with her submitted to a supervisor did not yield results Wednesday night.

Jeff Wilson, Hartnett’s attorney in several prior pending criminal cases, was appointed to continue representing her in the new matters. But Wilson said he had not seen the details of  the new allegations, and planned to speak with Hartnett later this week and did not want to discuss the new charges before then.


In a previous interview, Wilson said a meeting planned for later this week with prosecutors to discuss resolving Hartnett’s prior cases was canceled by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office, a possible tactic to pressure her to talk to investigators.

“Whenever someone is involved as a witness to something and they have pending cases, there’s always a concern that (the state) will use the pending cases to leverage someone to make a statement,” Wilson said previously.

Hartnett has resisted talking to police because she said they were rude and callous toward her right after she was shot, when detectives were hungry for details about what had occurred. Neither District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck nor Police Maj. Robert Martin responded to questions about whether the new, low-level charges were intended to pressure Hartnett into cooperating with police.

Hartnett spoke at length to the Portland Press Herald about the shooting and about her treatment by police. She said a detective and a uniformed officer treated her with suspicion, and not like a victim of a crime. Hartnett, a longtime drug user, said she felt they belittled her because of her drug use and failed to extend basic empathy or comfort after she witnessed her friend get shot to death.

Derald “Darry” Coffin Photo courtesy of Terry Leonard

Hartnett said a uniformed police officer bullied her into handing over her cellphone and tried to convince her to come to the station for a longer interview. When she refused – because, she said, she was exhausted and in shock – the officer turned cold and said he hoped she did not have far to walk home. Police had taken her clothes and shoes as evidence so she was barefoot as they spoke, she said.

Medical staff had to intervene to assist Hartnett, she said, and hospital workers were so concerned that someone connected Hartnett with a criminal defense attorney, Amy Fairfield.



So far, no one has been charged in Coffin’s death and police have revealed little information about it.

In a story published Wednesday, Hartnett offered details of the shooting she had not revealed to detectives.

Hartnett said she didn’t put it all together immediately after she was shot, at the time that she spoke to police. But she said she now believes the shooting was a setup by a man that she and Coffin met up with a short time before the attack. The man, known to her only as Bear, climbed into the backseat of Hartnett’s SUV and begged Hartnett and Coffin for about 5 grams of heroin, enough to resell from a Cumberland Avenue drug house, Hartnett said.

They refused him, Hartnett said. She said Coffin told Bear that they were struggling themselves. Bear then asked where Hartnett and Coffin were headed, she said, and she gave him the address of the Woodford Street apartment where they were crashing for the night.

Bear then texted Hartnett complaining about being turned away for the drugs, and relayed the address she had given him, she said. It was as if he had meant to send the message to someone else. He then made a phone call and repeated the address to the person on the other end of the line.


A short time later, the three were in the SUV parked on Woodford Street when three men appeared, attacked Coffin and dragged him out of the vehicle. Bear stood by and watched, as if unsurprised, Hartnett said.


At her arraignment on Wednesday, Hartnett pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.

On the new theft case, prosecutor Tracy Gorham argued for $1,000 bail with conditions. Gorham also asked Justice John O’Neil to revoke Hartnett’s bail from the previous case, in which she had agreed not to commit any new criminal conduct.

Before the shooting, Hartnett faced felony charges for drug possession, trafficking in prison contraband and receiving stolen property, along with misdemeanors for criminal trespass and drug possession.

Gorham said that her office had previously viewed those cases as results of her poverty, homelessness and drug use, and believed that her boyfriend, Christopher Gilley, was more responsible than she was for her alleged involvement in dealing stolen goods.


The lawyer assigned to represent her Wednesday, James Gioia, said that Gorham was making arguments based on information not contained in the records of the case at hand. He said that the victims of the Old Port burglary, Bigelow Investment Advisors, did not have surveillance cameras and had no idea who burglarized their business, meaning police could not show that Hartnett knew or believed the objects found in her vehicle had been stolen, an essential element of the crime.

In her interview with the Press Herald, Hartnett declined to discuss how she and Gilley made money to get by. But court records show that Gilley faces multiple charges of alleged drug possession, aggravated drug trafficking and receiving thousands of dollars of stolen property, along with other lower-level offenses.

He has been jailed since April 24, when police were called to investigate three men cutting off the lock of a toolbox in the back of a black Chevrolet pickup truck at the Marginal Way Park and Ride.

One of the men was Gilley and, according to police, he was in possession of a four-inch switchblade, a violation of his bail conditions.

Hartnett, who owns the pickup, said the truck had mechanical problems and she had transitioned to living out of the Range Rover, which Gilley and Coffin had fixed up for her about a month earlier. When Gilley was found by police in the parking lot, he was trying to get the truck running so they could sell it, Hartnett said.

After the shooting, police towed the pickup and also impounded the Range Rover and searched it. They said in court filings that they found the laptop and tablet, together valued at about $1,000, along with other electronics.



After Gilley’s arrest and the shooting, police monitored calls Gilley made from the jail, and found that he had been speaking with Hartnett through a family member. In one call, police said Hartnett told Gilley that she needed her SUV back because she needed money to sell more stuff, and that she had “her own business,” according to court records.

The report about the jail call included in the court records did not say whether Gilley or Hartnett acknowledged in the conversation what goods she planned to sell or whether they were obtained illegally.

“What actual knowledge does the state have that Annabelle knew this property was stolen?” Gioia said during his bail argument.

Gioia also said that a drug rehab hospital in Massachusetts had agreed to take Hartnett as a patient in an intensive 90-day recovery program.

Because her bail was revoked for violating the terms of her release in an earlier criminal case, Hartnett will sit in jail unless her attorney successfully reargues the terms of her detention.

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