A 23-year-old Saco man who police say shot and killed a man during a robbery last spring has entered an insanity plea.

Damion Butterfield appeared in Cumberland County Superior Court on Thursday, wearing an orange jumpsuit from the Maine State Prison, his wrists and ankles shackled. His attorney cited a long history of untreated mental health issues as he entered the new plea of not criminally responsible because of insanity.

Derald “Darry” Coffin Photo courtesy of Terry Leonard

Butterfield pleaded not guilty last summer to a murder charge in the death of Derald “Darry” Coffin, 43, and the attempted murder of Annabelle Hartnett, 29. He was also indicted on one count of robbery and one count of illegally possessing a firearm.

Three other defendants – Thomas MacDonald, 44, Jonathan Geisinger, 44, and Anthony Osborne, 45 – were charged with one count each of felony murder for their role in setting up the alleged plot to rob Coffin and Hartnett. Osborne and Geisinger have pleaded not guilty and Osborne tried unsuccessfully to lobby the judge to lower his bail. Osborne is scheduled for a settlement hearing on June 26.

Court records show the state’s case relies heavily on confessions MacDonald made to police after the shooting.

Osborne had just been released from Maine State Prison when he reached out to Coffin offering to sell him drugs. Coffin and Hartnett had just met up with Osborne around 1 a.m. on April 26, 2022, when two men pulled Coffin out of the car and started beating him, demanding money, according to a police affidavit.


As Coffin ran away, the assailants pulled out a gun and shot him, and then shot Hartnett, who survived by playing dead.

Four days later, MacDonald entered the Westbrook Police Department and said he wanted to confess to murder.

He eventually told police it was “the kid” – later identified as Butterfield – who shot Coffin. Butterfield had turned himself into the York County Jail shortly after the shooting on a warrant for violating his probation.


Butterfield’s new plea further complicates how the court will handle taking the four cases to trial.

Under state law, a plea of not criminally responsible because of insanity could result in two trials: one to decide guilt; and a second, held only if he’s found guilty in the first, to decide if he is criminally responsible.


It’s called a two-stage trial, and the same jury would sit for both. Or Butterfield could waive his right to a jury trial and have a judge decide the second stage.

Anthony Osborne enters the courtroom at Cumberland County Superior Court for his bail hearing in December. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

At the same time, Cumberland County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy, who is overseeing all four cases, is weighing whether to try them independently or hold one joint trial in December.

It’s unclear if MacDonald is still facing trial. During Butterfield’s hearing Thursday, the judge said it was her understanding that MacDonald had entered a plea and is awaiting sentencing.

Nothing in his public court file indicates whether he entered a guilty plea and neither the Maine Attorney General’s Office nor his defense attorney, Randall Bates, responded to emails asking if MacDonald had entered into a plea deal.

Thomas MacDonald left, and his defense attorney, Randall Bates, right, argued successfully in September that MacDonald’s bail should be drastically reduced. Zoom screenshot

According to MacDonald’s court file, prosecutors have also charged him with hindering apprehension or prosecution. MacDonald waived his right to a grand jury hearing for the new charge. He was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond and must testify in court if called upon.

Geisinger fired his original court-appointed attorneys in late April, indefinitely delaying a hearing to consider all four defendants’ requests to sever their cases. Kennedy ordered a mental health evaluation for him on May 15, according to court records.


The defense attorneys argue a joint trial will lead to unfair prejudice and defendants hurling accusations at one another.

“[It] is clear that a significant aspect of the State’s strategy in this matter has been to have the other co-defendants snitch against Damion,” Butterfield’s attorney, James Howaniec, wrote in court filings. “The possibility that one or more of the co-defendants may exercise their fifth amendment rights at trial is just as likely to occur as putting on defenses designed to implicate Mr. Butterfield, effectively acting as a second prosecutor.”

Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Bogue and Leanne Robin argued in court filings that holding several trials is unnecessary and would only result in further delays. Bogue and Robin argued the defense attorneys have not met the high standard needed to separate trials.

“There must be a clear showing of facts presented to the trial justice before trial which would cause this court to believe that the defendants would be prejudiced by a joint trial,” the prosecutors wrote. “Vague generalizations are insufficient to warrant severance.”


Kennedy accepted Butterfield’s additional plea Thursday and ordered that new psychiatric reports be completed by July 31. She will consider Butterfield’s competency during a two-day hearing in August, as well as a request to suppress statements he made while incarcerated.


After turning himself in on the probation warrants, Butterfield bragged to his fellow inmates about killing Coffin and repeatedly took credit for the shooting, according to a conversation with a jail informant detailed in police records.

Howaniec wrote in a motion that any statement his client has made regarding this case cannot be deemed voluntary and is therefore inadmissible in court.

“As a result of a lifetime of trauma dating back to early childhood, Damion has suffered a severe mental illness that has left him with severe impulsivity and unable to restrain himself from discussing his case while incarcerated,” Howaniec wrote, citing a 2017 evaluation that was done when Butterfield was a teenager.

The same doctor is conducting Butterfield’s newest evaluation.

“Because of Damion’s untreated mental illnesses, … statements that he has made are involuntary and non-consensual, and should therefore be suppressed at trial in the above matter,” Howaniec wrote.

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