Portland Police charged a man with murder Monday following their investigation into an incident Friday at an apartment building on Cumberland Avenue.

Jonathan Alas, 27, is suspected of killing 58-year-old Christopher Godin, according to a news release from Portland police.

Officers were called to the downtown apartment building for a report of a disturbance shortly after 7 p.m. Friday. Upon arrival, they found Godin dead inside a hallway.

Christopher Godin Photo courtesy of Sue Ericson

Alas was found in another area of the building suffering from serious injuries, although police have not described those injuries. He was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he remained Monday, police said. His condition was not available.

Godin’s body was brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for an autopsy, which concluded that his death was a homicide. Police are not releasing the cause.

Police also have not said whether Alas and Godin knew each other or whether either was a resident of the apartment building.


Godin was well known in Portland as the founder of Granny’s Burritos, an eatery that was synonymous with Old Port nightlife for many years. It later moved to the Portland Public Market. Several people posted about his death on Facebook, including Grace Eldredge, who started the business with him back in the 1990s.

“This is devastating to the community of friends we call ‘framily’ – fellow business owners who had great business relationships with him,” Eldredge said in a message to the Press Herald. “His entrepreneurial spirit was inspiring and shaped who I am now. He was giving to his community without wanting anything in return. He was a hard worker, loving father and loyal friend.”

Eldredge said the circumstances of Godin’s death are shocking.

“The way he left this world cuts like a knife because he was the last person on Earth who should go like this,” she said.

Sue Ericson was friends with Godin for many years and even roommates for a time. When he expanded Granny’s Burritos and added a bar, she ran it for him.

“He was kind, he was generous. He was just a lovely human being,” she said.


Ericson last saw him last spring. He stopped in where she was working just to say hello.

She doesn’t know what circumstances might have led to his death but said it doesn’t make sense given Godin’s nature.

“He was a peace-loving hippie,” she said.

Jeff Glidden, who knew Godin through their shared loved of music and from touring together as fans of the Grateful Dead, said he hadn’t seen his friend in a few years but was stunned at the news.

“There was never anyone in the world as kind,” Glidden said in a phone interview Monday, pausing to settle his emotions. “He was so loving, and so full of life. He never cared much about his own circumstance, you know, he was just always there for you with a smile.”

Godin had two grown children, Carter and Bela, with his former partner, Susannah Harnden.


Glidden said he didn’t recognize Alas’ name and didn’t know why Godin might have crossed paths with him.

“I’ve been running scenarios through my head, but I wonder was (Godin) trying to help,” he said. “He was the kind of guy to be vocal if he saw someone doing something to someone else.”

Although Alas has been charged, he had not yet appeared in court as of Monday, and no initial court date had been set.

No other details about the incident or what led investigators to charge Alas were provided. Investigators said anyone with information that might assist in this case can call (207) 874-8575.

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