A Cumberland County judge reduced bail Monday for one of the four people charged in a fatal shooting near Woodford’s Corner.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy reduced bail for Thomas MacDonald, 44, of Westbrook, from $500,000 to $50,000 following a brief hearing Monday. MacDonald has been held in jail since his arrest in June. He appeared via Zoom from Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

MacDonald faces one count each of felony murder and robbery in the death of Derald “Derry” Coffin, who was shot after 1 a.m. April 26 on Woodford Street. Police allege three people pulled Coffin from a parked SUV, beat him and demanded money or drugs before one of the assailants pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and shot Coffin twice. Coffin died at Maine Medical Center.

Thomas MacDonald, left, is charged with felony murder in the death of Derald Coffin. His defense attorney, Randall Bates, right, argued successfully that MacDonald’s bail should be drastically reduced. Screenshot from Zoom hearing

Also shot in the confrontation was 26-year-old Annabelle Hartnett, who was injured but survived.

MacDonald’s attorney, Randall Bates, said that before MacDonald was charged in June he had only one recent conviction in nearly 25 years, for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and that he had been steadily employed since he graduated from high school in South Portland more than 20 years ago. His earlier convictions were for misdemeanors, as well.

Bates argued that a police affidavit underlying MacDonald’s arrest shows he had less involvement in the crime than the other alleged defendants. MacDonald told police he did not know the gun was loaded, and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging out with the wrong people.


“We’ve gotten at least 2,500 documents and a cornucopia of recordings,” Bates said. “But what actually applies to Mr. MacDonald is in serious question. This is not something where the defense has nothing to discuss with either a judge or a jury.”

Bates asked for $5,000 cash bail with whatever conditions Kennedy felt were appropriate.

“I understand it is several zeroes shy of what was put on the warrant. I think when the court sees how good a candidate Tom is, you’ll understand why we’re asking.”

He also said that having MacDonald held in Houlton is an unexpected hardship.

“I don’t know that it’s cruel and unusual, but he’s here by himself without family, three and a half hours away,” Bates said. “It’s also difficult to prepare for trial when you’re in Houlton and your attorney is in Cumberland County.”

A prosecutor said that MacDonald’s involvement cannot be ignored, and his alleged actions warranted the high bail amount.


Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue said MacDonald rented the car used as the getaway vehicle, hid the alleged murder weapon and allowed two of the other defendants to stay at his Westbrook apartment immediately after the shooting, and then drove them to their relatives’ homes as police searched for Coffin’s killer. It took detectives nearly six weeks of investigation to build their case against the four men.

Bogue said MacDonald withheld information from police and lied about his involvement until they presented him with evidence that pointed to his presence at the scene – only then did he offer a more accurate account of what happened. She said that after the interviews with investigators, cell phone records revealed he had close ties to the other suspects.

In lowering the bail amount, Kennedy imposed several conditions. The bail must be posted in cash and in the name of the person who posts it. If MacDonald is to be released, he must check in with police twice a week, obey a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and not possess drugs, alcohol or dangerous weapons. MacDonald’s mother will also be held responsible for knowing his whereabouts at all times.

“I do think that $500,000 is highly impossible to attain, and I am going to reduce the amount,” Kennedy said. “I’m going to reduce the amount to $50,000, which is probably equally impossible to obtain, but not out of the question.”

The other defendants are Jonathan Geisinger, 45, and Anthony Osborne, 44, who face one count each of felony murder and robbery. The fourth defendant, Damion Butterfield, 23, faces one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. Osborne and Geisinger are being held on $500,000 bail each, and Butterfield is being held without bail.

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