Prosecutors this week released the first detailed account of Portland police’s month-long investigation into a double-shooting on Woodford Street in April, revealing a tangled, twisting story that led to the arrest of four men now charged with murder.

Derald “Darry” Coffin Photo courtesy of Terry Leonard

Derald “Darry” Coffin was shot and killed shortly after 1 a.m. on April 26. His friend, Annabelle Hartnett, was injured but survived. For weeks, investigators remained silent about their progress, until they announced a string of arrests in June, the culmination of untold hours of detective work.

Charged with the murder and attempted murder is Damion Butterfield, 23, of Saco. He faces 25 years to life in prison. Police say he brought the gun and fired the shots.

The others are Thomas MacDonald, 44, Jonathan Geisinger, 44, and Anthony Osborne, 45, who police allege conspired to rob Coffin and Hartnett, who was shot in the arm during the encounter. The three are charged with one count each of felony murder for their role in setting up the alleged plot and face up to 30 years in prison.

Now that a grand jury has indicted the men and their cases are moving slowly toward trial, a judge released the affidavit describing how police homed in on the four.

The affidavit is stunning in its detail. It shows how detectives pulled together old-fashioned interviews, electronic data, surveillance footage, GPS locations, cellphone records, information from confidential sources, jail-house informants and witness interviews to make their case.


The narrative that emerges is vivid and chilling. Osborne had just gotten out of prison. He had known Coffin for two decades and had spent the day before the shooting calling Coffin to meet up with him in Portland, offering to sell him drugs.

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

Shortly after Coffin and Hartnett met with Osborne, at least two people pulled Coffin out of a vehicle and beat him, demanding money. He turned out his pockets to show them he didn’t have any, according to police interviews. He ran down the street and fell down. Then one of the assailants pulled out a gun and shot Coffin twice in the stomach, then turned the gun on Hartnett. The bullet passed through the brim of her hat, narrowly missing her head. A second shot tore through her arm, but she played dead and survived.

Hartnett was uncooperative with officers, and said investigators were rude and coercive. In her brief remarks to police in the hospital, Hartnett said she did not look at the shooter’s face and struggled to remember details about him. Police say she withheld details, but was not re-interviewed until a month later, after they put her in jail on unrelated charges.

Police canvassed the neighborhood. A resident on Woodford Street reported that after the gunfire, a small van-like Honda backed up the street without its lights on and drove away from the crime scene. Officers who had been nearby when the shooting was reported drove by the same Honda, captured on footage from the cruiser’s dash-cam.

The next day, police received a tip through an FBI task force: Hours after the shooting, a man named Thomas MacDonald asked a friend to hold on to a .22 caliber revolver. Police went to MacDonald’s apartment above a bar in Westbrook, set up surveillance and seized video from the downstairs business. That’s when they saw MacDonald and Geisinger getting into a green Honda Element.

Video cameras from the bar provided police with a timeline showing how MacDonald, Geisinger and a third man had come and gone from MacDonald’s apartment after the shooting. They used the information to get a search warrant for MacDonald’s apartment and seized his truck. Behind the driver’s seat of the Chevy they found the .22 caliber revolver believed to be the murder weapon.


Police sought out MacDonald’s relatives, and soon learned that he was deeply upset and was feeling pressure from all sides.

“I’m in trouble,” MacDonald texted his brother and said to look out for “Woodfords” on the news. “I love you,” MacDonald texted. “I’ll probably never see you again.”

Police spoke to another of MacDonald’s relatives, who said he came to her home about 18 hours after the shooting in tears, but was vague about what happened, only that it was unnecessary, that he didn’t know there was a loaded gun, and that “Jonny” did not shoot anyone, that it was “the kid.”

Four days after Coffin was killed, MacDonald walked into the Westbrook police station and told officers he wanted to confess to the murder. He told Portland detectives that he feared for his life and the lives of his family, that he wanted to “just take it,” meaning take the rap for the shootings.

“I’m doing what I’m told to do,” he said. “I got into a thing I didn’t know I was in.”

MacDonald told them “the kid” was the one who had the gun and shot it, that the kid was a 20-something guy that MacDonald had never met, with a bunch of tattoos on his face claiming to be in a prison gang. MacDonald tried to remember the kid’s name. It started with a B. Butter-bean maybe. Butter-something. Maybe Butterfield, MacDonald said.


The kid had bragged about spending time in jail and told MacDonald he was still on probation.

The state probation office helped investigators narrow down a possible match: Damion Butterfield, 23, of Saco. Butterfield was on probation in York County but it had been revoked and there was a warrant for his arrest. A day after the shooting, Butterfield called Saco police and turned himself in on the outstanding warrants, and he was arrested at a motel.

Portland Police tried to interview him at the York County Jail. Butterfield told them he was a member of the Gangster Disciples and wouldn’t talk.

But Butterfield kept bragging to his fellow inmates about killing Coffin and repeatedly took credit for the shooting, according to an informant who was jailed along with him.

Investigators went back to work on MacDonald. Over a series of interviews, MacDonald slowly broke down when confronted with more and more evidence of his involvement.


A car related to the fatal shooting on Woodford Street in Portland is loaded onto a flatbed tow truck as a Portland police officer examines the ground nearby. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

MacDonald admitted that he had fallen off the wagon, had bought a $100-bag of cocaine that night and was “out of his mind.” He admitted he was in the car, and that Geissinger was driving. Geisinger got a call and picked up Butterfield somewhere in downtown Portland. MacDonald said he did not know Butterfield had a gun when he got in the car, and did not know what was about to go down.


MacDonald told police that Geisinger parked on Woodford Street close to Baxter Boulevard. The three got out and began walking, but Geisinger told MacDonald to hang back.

MacDonald heard a scuffle and tried to get closer to see what was happening.

Then he heard the shots, pop pop pop pop.

He wasn’t sure how many, maybe four or five.

Geisinger and Butterfield sprinted back to the car, telling him to get in.

He didn’t see Butterfield fire the gun, but said he was in the “right stance,” and saw him holding the gun as he ran away.

When they got back to the Honda, the three men ducked down as two police cruisers screamed past them toward the scene. Geisinger never told MacDonald who Butterfield was or what, exactly, they had picked him up to do. As they drove away, Butterfield bragged about the shooting and about being a gangster.

After admitting his involvement, MacDonald told investigators he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time wrapped up with the wrong folks,” according to the affidavit.

MacDonald is set to appear in Cumberland County Court Monday for a bail hearing.

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