ROCKLAND, Maine ― After closing its investigation into the killing of a man on Vinalhaven earlier this summer, the Maine attorney general’s office and Maine State Police could review additional statements from as many as six witnesses in the case, according to a state lawmaker who is advocating for prosecutors to reopen it.
Roger Feltis, 28, died from neck wounds suffered in an altercation at the island home of Briannah and Dorian Ames. A grand jury declined to indict the Ameses on criminal charges in July after the couple claimed they killed Feltis in self defense following a fight.
However, Feltis’ family and witnesses who were there the night he died dispute that defense and have criticized the state’s handling of the case. Last month, Rep. Jeffrey Evengelos, I-Friendship, filed a petition to have the high-profile homicide reopened.
In a private meeting on Tuesday at the Knox County Courthouse, Evangelos said prosecutors and investigators expressed interest in obtaining additional witness statements and other information that might be pertinent to the case, he said, but stopped short of committing to reopening the case.
“They didn’t say, ‘Sorry it’s over,” said Evangelos, who called it a “foot in the door.”
Under Maine law, the attorney general’s office can renew its investigation and present the homicide case to a new grand jury. But Augusta lawyer Walt McKee, who is not affiliated with the case, said that does not typically happen “as part of longstanding practice and procedure.”
But the “hasty” manner in which the investigation was handled is cause for concern, Evangelos said. Witnesses who were there the night Feltis died have additionally said they felt police “twisted” their statements or did not seem interested in hearing their testimony.
Feltis’ surviving girlfriend Jennie Candage was the lone witness called to testify before a grand jury in July. Five or six witnesses will submit new written statements to investigators following Tuesday’s meeting, Evangelos said.
“The way we left it was that they wanted additional information from any witnesses who had credible information that they could examine and overlay that with what they already collected,” Evangelos said.
Feltis was unarmed when he went to the home of the Ameses the night he died, according to court documents and witnesses. While the couple claim Feltis barged into their home, at least five witnesses say the fight between Feltis and the couple took place on a porch outside.
Witnesses have disputed the self-defense claim. They said the Ameses never issued a verbal warning “to leave the property or else.”
Tuesday’s meeting included Evangelos, Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, a Maine State Police representative, Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll, Knox County District Attorney Natasha Irving as well as Feltis’ family, friends and witnesses who were present the night he died.