BELFAST — A Northfield man on trial in the killings of three people delivered his own opening statement Wednesday, calling the victims “drug addicts” and describing the deaths as “accidents” and “self defense.”

Thomas Bonfanti Washington County Jail via Associated Press

A prosecutor described a calculated plan in which Thomas Bonfanti, 65, of Northfield, allegedly went to each of three homes, killing the victims in February 2020.

But Bonfanti told jurors he wanted to talk to the victims about missing American Legion funds. He said that “basically all the evidence will show we had a couple of accidents, self-defense,” NewsCenter Maine reported.

Assistant Attorney General Robert “Bud” Ellis said Bonfanti killed three people and attempted to kill a fourth. Bonfanti is charged with murder, aggravated attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.

The lone survivor, Regina Hall Long, was shot several times but lay on the floor, pretending to be dead, Ellis said.

Killed were Shawn Currey, 57, of Machias; Jennifer Bryant Flynn, 49, of Machias; and Samuel Powers, 33, of Jonesboro, at their three separate homes in Machias and Jonesboro.

Bonfanti said witnesses will testify that he went to the American Legion Hall in Machias and put $789 on the bar, calling it his cremation money, and saying “I snapped. They finally made me snap.”

The trial was moved Waldo County Superior Court because of concerns about pretrial publicity in Washington County, where the killings took place.

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