A Maine State Police evidence van sits outside of a house at 81 Waterboro Road in Alfred on Tuesday, where Kristan Crow was found dead Monday. Police have arrested her husband, James Crow, and charged him with murder. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Before he was arrested, an Alfred man accused of killing his wife told police officers “he was not a bad guy and that he didn’t mean to do it,” according to court documents.

James Crow, 40, made his initial appearance in York County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon, two days after police found his wife Kristan Crow, 39, dead of a gunshot wound to the head in the couple’s home.

James Crow’s first appearance in York County Superior Court via Zoom on Wednesday.

Crow, represented by defense attorney Matthew Crockett, spoke only once at Wednesday’s brief hearing to acknowledge that he understood the murder charge against him. He attended the proceeding via Zoom from the York County Jail, where he continues to be held without bail. Crow was not required to enter a plea Wednesday.

Judge Richard Mulhern set a status conference for July 7, but said that Crow would likely return to court earlier for an arraignment if a grand jury brings an indictment.

A medical examiner determined that Kristan Crow’s death was a homicide following an autopsy on Tuesday.



New details about the case emerged Wednesday after the judge unsealed an affidavit from Maine State Police Detective Justin Huntley that outlines the moments after Kristan Crow’s death.

Shortly before 3 p.m. on Monday, a man who identified himself as James Crow called police dispatchers and told them he had shot his wife at the couple’s home on Waterboro Road and then left. Soon after, York County Sheriff’s deputies and a Maine state trooper who happened to be in the vicinity entered the home and found the couple’s 18-year-old son and Kristan Crow’s body on a bed with “a significant amount of blood around her face,” according to the affidavit.

Police began searching for James Crow, who at one point spoke with York County Sgt. David Chauvette over the phone and said he hadn’t meant to kill his wife and that he “felt out of his body,” court records say.


From 2018 to 2020, James Crow worked for the state of Maine as a caseworker for child protective services, according to Maine Open Checkbook, which tracks the state’s payroll. Part of his responsibilities involved assessing whether homes were safe for children.

Crow has struggled with his mental health since returning from combat in Afghanistan more than a decade ago and takes several medications to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, his older brother said.


“He’s always been quiet since the war,” Justin Crow said.

He described his brother as “the nicest guy,” and said an eroding marriage had exacerbated his mental health struggles and pushed him to a breaking point.

A Maine State Police trooper who responded to the scene in Alfred on Monday was already aware of James Crow’s mental health history after responding to two previous calls for service to the home, the affidavit states. It does not explain what those calls were for or when they were made.

Kristan Crow’s death comes six months after she was charged with four counts of wire fraud by federal prosecutors who say she stole more than $423,000 from her employer between April 2018 and September 2021.

Prosecutors say she used her position as an administrative assistant at Walsh Engineering Associates, Inc. in Westbrook to siphon company funds into a personal bank account she shared with her husband.

Justin Crow said his brother had a poor understanding of how to use even a smartphone and never saw any of the stolen money; instead, the family struggled to pay its bills, while the threat of a maximum fine of nearly $850,000 loomed.


Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the wire fraud charges against Kristan Crow, citing her death, according to court records.

James Crow filed for divorce just over two weeks ago, according to documents filed in Biddeford District Court. The filing cited irreconcilable marital differences and indicated the couple did not dispute spousal support, attorney fees, real estate or personal property.

Yet Kristan Crow’s death on Monday was preceded by an argument about whether she would agree to leave the house, said Justin Crow, who said he spoke with his brother on the day of the shooting. He said his brother, who had recently asked police for help getting his wife to leave to no avail, sounded hopeless and depressed.

“This is not Jimmy at all,” Justin Crow said. “It’s just not Jimmy.”


On Sunday, James Crow posted several smiling photos of himself and his three children sitting around the dinner table on Facebook.


“Happy Easter everyone,” the caption reads.

A day later he was in jail.

The Crow children are now staying with members of Kristan Crow’s family, Justin Crow said. Two of them attend Massabesic High School and a third attends Alfred Elementary School.

The shooting Monday prompted the high school to cancel after-school events that afternoon and go into lockdown. Administrators at both schools have convened crisis response teams and will provide councilors and social workers to support impacted students and staff, according to a message to the school community from RSU 57 Superintendent Stephen Marquis.

Crow surrendered to police in the parking lot of Harry’s Convenience Store in Lyman around 4:30 p.m. Monday. An officer found a green SIG Sauer automatic pistol in Crow’s truck. State police said he surrendered without incident.

In a Facebook post after the shooting, James Crow apologized to friends and family.

“I couldn’t do it anymore,” the post reads. “I’m so sorry everyone. I really am. I wish none of this happened. I snapped. My brain is broken and there’s no coming back now. I love my children so much and I only hope that someone good takes care of them. I’m sorry.”

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