Kelley Turner said she always knew about her half brother David Anderson. But he was older by eight years and grew up in a different household. They didn’t meet until she was about 28.

Only a couple of years later, she lost him when Anderson was shot and killed in a Portland apartment on March 15, 2016.

David Anderson in an undated photo before his death in March 2016.  Photo courtesy of Kelley Turner

His killer was a mystery.

This image from surveillance video shows a shooting suspect at 88 Gilman St. on March 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Portland Police Department

Surveillance videos from inside the building show a tall man dressed mostly in black, his face covered, standing outside the apartment before firing six rounds at the door, one of which hit Anderson in the torso. The gunman ran before police arrived, picking up the shell casings that would have helped them identify the gun.

No one in the apartment identified the shooter to police. Police surveillance that had been monitoring the apartment for suspected drug activity had stopped only a week earlier.

Turner wanted to know who killed her brother. She wanted justice.


She thought it was coming when police arrested a man in 2020. But after eight long years, that man was acquitted in Cumberland County Superior Court last month.

A jury determined that investigators had failed to link Aristotle Stilley to the crime – there wasn’t enough evidence that he had any connections to Gilman Street, he didn’t know Anderson, and the only person who had remotely implicated him recanted on the stand.

Portland police say they consider Anderson’s homicide a closed case. They will not be looking into several rumored suspects who were referenced at trial and cannot charge Stilley again with the same crime.

David Anderson in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of Kelley Turner

A spokesperson for the department declined to answer any other questions about the case. A spokesperson for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, which prosecuted the cases, said there are no steps to be taken after an acquittal.

Where that leaves Anderson’s family is unclear. It’s very possible no one will ever be held accountable.

“We all kind of feel like it’s not fair,” Turner said after the trial ended.


She had been in court for several days, sitting in the front row with Anderson’s mother, their father and another sister.

As she recounted their experience in an interview at a coffee shop a few blocks from the courthouse, she often stroked a fresh heart-shaped tattoo on her arm with David’s name on it. She got it when she turned 36, she said – the same age Anderson was when he died.

“It’s kind of like a slap in the face,” she said.


Turner and Anderson shared a father but had completely different lives, she said, albeit in the same state.

Family was important to Turner. When she finally met him, it was a pivotal time in her life, and she was excited about having another older brother. She talked to him often. She wanted him at her wedding. She hoped her young daughter would get to know Anderson as an uncle. He loved to talk about sports and his favorite team, the Chicago Bulls.


But Anderson also struggled with substance use disorder. Turner she said he kept her at arm’s length, away from the darker parts of his life.

“I tried to help him, but he wasn’t ready,” Turner said. “But even though he had that (addiction), he was still an awesome, loving, caring brother, no matter what situation he was in. He was always there.”

The apartment building at 88 Gilman St., pictured in March 2016, where David Anderson was killed in a shooting that month. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer, file

Anderson’s drug use is what landed him in the third-floor apartment of 88 Gilman St. on the night of March 15, 2016, where he was shot shortly before midnight. He died a week before his 37th birthday.

He had been selling heroin. He didn’t have a place of his own and was crashing with various friends, including one who rented that apartment

For about two months, the building manager and local police had gotten tips from residents who were concerned that the unit was being used as a “trap house” for drug deals. One tip named Anderson as one of the dealers, according to police records.

In a draft for a search warrant, Portland police Officer Chris Dyer listed seven officers who saw Anderson and others coming and going from the building on March 9, a week before the shooting. 


Dyer said at trial that he was still finishing the affidavit for the search warrant when the shooting occurred.

Stilley’s lawyers – who have said the investigation into Anderson’s death was shoddy and that their client was wrongfully accused – asked Dyer and other officers on the stand why they didn’t seriously consider a tip suggesting there would be a shooting at the apartment that night.

According to a police report, Officer Nicholas Goodman met with an unnamed source 10 hours before the shooting who warned him that another man, Anthony Osborne, could be targeted over some stolen drugs.

Anthony Osborne enters Cumberland County Superior Court for his sentencing hearing in February. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer, file

Osborne testified at Stilley’s trial as a witness – he was in the apartment that night and called 911 after Anderson, whom he described as a friend, was shot. Osborne said he could not recognize the shooter, nor could another man who was shot in the leg and survived.  

It’s unclear what role, if any, the tip about Osborne played in the investigation after that. Osborne didn’t testify to any of this in court. (He’s serving an eight-year sentence for a separate, deadly robbery).

Turner said her family doesn’t fault police. It was a difficult investigation involving unreliable people.


Even though she’s upset that the search warrant was never finished, she blames the slow wheels of justice rather than police.

If they had gotten into the apartment and arrested Anderson, Turner said her brother would still be here. Maybe he would have had the opportunity to get sober.


Turner sat through almost every day of Stilley’s trial. Anderson’s mother was there for the first few days but had to fly home when testimony stretched into a second week. His father and sister came when they could.

Little was said of Anderson in court.

Turner said she wished the jury could know more about who her brother was.


“I feel like they portrayed David as just the druggie, and not looking at who he was as a person,” she said. “He was a brother, an uncle, he was a son, a grandson. David was very loved.”

A member of Portland’s Crime Scene Unit carries items down the hallway at 88 Gilman St. from the apartment where David Anderson was fatally shot in March 2016. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer, file

Turner said it was difficult to see the pictures of Anderson’s body, sprawled on the bathroom floor where he died. Those in the courtroom saw the gun that police believe was used and the apartment door, which was brought into the courtroom so the jury could look through the six bullet holes.

“To see the actual door … ” Turner said, trailing off as she shook her head.

But the most difficult moment was when the jury announced they had reached a verdict. Turner was watching via Zoom.

“When they said not guilty, and the judge left, I got off (Zoom) and immediately started crying,” she said.

In the courtroom, Stilley and his brother rejoiced. He embraced his attorneys and was allowed to go home after three years behind bars.


Stilley has always been adamant about his innocence. When he was first scheduled for trial two years ago, the trial got delayed because his lawyers withdrew from the case over disagreements about his defense.

Aristotle Stilley hugs his attorney Stephen Shea in April after a jury found him not guilty of murdering David Anderson. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer, file

Turner said she’s not mad at the members of the jury, but she believes they got it wrong. She trusts that police did their job in charging Stilley after a difficult investigation.

She believes that witnesses and Anderson’s old friends are withholding information about what happened.

The best thing they could do now, Turner says, is tell police what they know.

She doesn’t want to go forever without answers.

“Give us that so at least, when our parents do pass away, they have that justice,” she said.

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