Maine saw more than 30 people killed in homicides last year for the first time in nearly 15 years.
The state’s 32 homicide deaths easily eclipsed the total from 2021, when 19 people died in homicides. But the 2022 total fell short of a record set in 1989, when there were 40 slayings, according to the Maine attorney general’s office, which prosecutes murder cases.
The last year the state recorded more than 30 homicides was 2008, when 31 people were killed.
Fifteen of last year’s deaths have been classified as domestic violence homicides, in which a family member or domestic partner was slain. That figure is in line with homicide deaths from most years.
“Generally speaking, domestic violence homicides make up about 50 percent of the homicides each year,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese said.
Maine typically sees 20 to 25 homicides each year. Marchese declined to speculate on why there were a dozen more homicides in 2022 than in 2021.
Three children under age 4 were among the victims last year, one fewer than the number of children under 4 killed in 2021, when the killings led to renewed scrutiny of the state’s child welfare system.
Of the 32 homicides last year, police are still investigating four, and no charges have been filed in four others for a variety of reasons. Defendants have been charged and are awaiting trial in 24 cases.
Due to the backlog in the court system caused by the coronavirus pandemic, most trials on murder and manslaughter charges won’t be held until 2024.
A murder conviction in Maine carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison.
Following is a list of 2022 homicides and their victims:
The body of Eva Cox, 58, of Lubec was found Jan. 11 in the trunk of her car parked near her home. She allegedly was shot to death on Jan. 8. Her boyfriend, Paul DeForest, 67, of Lubec was arrested in Virginia the same day Cox’s body was found. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and is scheduled to be tried in October in Machias.
Paula Johnson, 53, was shot in the back of the head on Feb. 8 at her home in Pembroke. Johnson’s girlfriend Rebecca Moores, 42, of Robbinston, has pleaded not guilty to murder. Moores is scheduled to be tried in January 2024 in Machias.
Abdallah Al Siraj, 50, of Portland was stabbed to death Feb. 10 in his West End apartment. His body was discovered by police during a wellness check. His son, Salim Al Siraj, 23, of Portland, who has a history of mental illness, has been charged with murder. He is scheduled to be tried in Portland in December 2023.
Jennifer Lingard, 41, of Dighton, Massachusetts, was found dead at a Lovell residence early on the morning of Feb. 24 after a wellness check was requested. Her death was ruled a homicide in August. She had been vacationing at the home with her two children, who were found at the residence unharmed, and Sami Daou, 33, of Newport, Rhode Island, who was not at the house at the time. Daou, the primary suspect in Lingard’s death, was found dead of a drug overdose two days later at his home in Rhode Island.
Darren Laney Sr., 62, of Big Lake Township was stabbed to death March 10 at the family home on Sunshine Lane. His son, Darren Laney Jr., 36, has pleaded not guilty to murder. A trial date has not been set.
Jaden Raymond, 14 months, of Easton died March 19. His mother, Mariah Dobbins, 29, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. A trial date has not been set.
Kimberly Neptune, 43, of Perry was stabbed and cut nearly 500 times on April 21 in her home. Kailee Brackett, 38, and Donnell Dana Jr., 39, both of Perry have pleaded not guilty to murder. They are scheduled to be tried in December 2023 in Machias.
Derald Coffin, 43, of West Bath was sitting in a parked vehicle on Woodford Street in Portland at about 1 a.m. on April 26 when he was approached by a group of people. An argument ensued, and Coffin and Annabelle Hartnett, then 27, were shot. Coffin died of his injuries but Hartnett survived. Damion Butterfield, 23, of Saco, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder. Thomas M. MacDonald, 44, of Westbrook and Anthony Osborne, 45 of Portland have both pleaded not guilty to felony murder. Their trial dates in Portland have not been set.
James Cluney, 49 of Brooks was shot and killed in his home on May 6. Atilio Delgado, 17, who appeared to be living with Cluney, has pleaded not guilty to murder. Because Delgado is a juvenile, information about the status of the case is not available.
Renaldo Jones, 30, died on May 10 after he allegedly was attacked in January by a fellow inmate at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. Carl Williams, 38, who previously lived in Penobscot County, is charged with murder. His trial date in Portland has not been set.
Tyler Morin, 36 of Lewiston was shot and killed May 20 at an Augusta towing company. The state medical examiner’s office ruled his death a homicide, but police concluded he was killed in an act of self-defense. No charges were filed.
Octavia Huber-Young, 2, of Wells was shot and killed on May 21 at the family home. Her uncle, Andrew Huber-Young, 19, of Wells is charged in her death. He’s also accused of wounding his brother, 22-year-old Ethan Huber-Young, who is Olivia’s father, and his father, 56-year-old Mark Young, in the shooting that began in a dispute over a T-shirt. Andrew Huber-Young has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. A trial date for Alfred has not been set.
Jeanine Ross, 66, of Bath allegedly was strangled to death in her apartment on May 24. Her son, Jason Ibarra, 43, of Bath has pleaded not guilty to murder. Ibarra, who claims he killed his mother in self-defense after she attacked him, is set to go on trial in September in Bath.
Jeremy Gilley, 37, of Vassalboro was shot and killed in the hallway of his apartment building on May 30, Memorial Day. Another tenant, 30-year-old Joshua Bilodeau was wounded but survived. No charges have been filed in the case and the Maine State Police do not list it as being under investigation.
Nicole Mokeme, 35, of South Portland was struck and killed in a hit-and-run on the night of June 18 and 19 on the campus of the Schoodic Education and Research Center in Winter Harbor. Her boyfriend, Raymond Lester, 36, of Portland, who fled the country and was caught in Cancun, Mexico, on July 18, has pleaded not guilty to murder. His trial is tentatively set for November.
Kelzie Caron, 21, of Auburn and Pierre Langlois, 21, of Connecticut, were found dead on June 19 in an Auburn apartment. David Barnett, 34, of Bristol, Connecticut, was arrested in Maryland and charged with two counts of murder. His trial is set for March 2024 in Auburn.
Alice Abbott, 20, of Skowhegan was killed at her parents’ Canaan Road home on July 16. Jason Servil, 19, of Boston was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault. A trial date has not been set.
John Paquin, 20, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was shot and killed July 17 on Howe Street in Lewiston. Mark John Sinclair, 29, of Lewiston has been charged with murder. A trial date has not been set.
Brooke McLaughlin, 14, was killed July 17 at her parents’ home in Mount Vernon. Her 15-year-old boyfriend, Aidan Grant, of Wayne has been charged with murder. It was the first time in a decade that a juvenile had been arrested for murder or manslaughter in the slaying of another juvenile. Information about the case is sealed because Grant is a juvenile.
Nicholas Trynor, 27, was shot and killed Aug. 6 at the Mexico home he shared with his mother and stepfather. Thomas Tellier, 53, of Mexico has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of his stepson. A trial date has not been set.
Walter Omal, 31, of Portland died on Sept. 7 after being shot in Deering Oaks Park. Amin Awies Mohamed, 38, of Roxbury, Massachusetts, has pleaded not guilty to murder. His trial is tentatively set for November in Portland.
Neil Salisbury, 71, was found dead Oct. 3 at his Shore Road residence in Lamoine. Maine State Police continue to investigate his death.
Russell and Lois Swanson, both 89, died in their Orrington home on Oct. 5 in what police described as a murder-suicide. Details about their deaths have not been made public.
Nicholas Blake, 37, of Lewiston was shot and killed in an attempted robbery at his home on Oct. 19. Barry Zollarcoffer, 47, of Lewiston and Andrew Stallings, 36, of Rumford have pleaded not guilty to murder, robbery and burglary charges. A trial date has not been set.
Matthew Adams, 36, of Whitneyville was killed Nov. 17 during a home invasion in Cherryfield. Maine State Police continue to investigate his death.
Bethany Kelley, a 23-year-old unhoused female from Portland was found dead on the street on Nov. 18. Portland police are investigating her death but have not released details about how she was killed.
Gabriel Damour, 38, of Poland was stabbed, beaten and strangled, and his body was mutilated in his trailer on Thanksgiving. His brother, Justin Butterfield, 34, of Poland, has been charged with murder. A trial date has not been set.
Tylor Flexon, 26 of Portland died of gunshot wounds on Nov. 29. Tristin Chamberlain, 21, of Portland has been charged with murder. A trial date has not been set.
Lacresha Howard, 24, of Lewiston was shot in the back of the head on Dec. 11 in the hallway outside her apartment. Eddie Massie, 40, of the Lewiston area is charged with murder. A trial date has not been set.
Drew McKenna, 23, of Rumford was shot at the family home on Dec. 19. He died of those injuries a few days later. His brother, Shea McKenna, 27, of Rumford is charged with manslaughter.
On Christmas Day, 3-year-old Makinzlee Handrahan died after police were called to her home Edgecomb. Police have not yet charged anybody in the killing, which the medical examiner’s office ruled a homicide. Her death is under investigation.
Two people also were charged in 2022 in homicides that occurred in previous years.
Lee Daigle, 58, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was indicted for murder on June 9 by an Aroostook County grand jury for the death of her newborn daughter on Dec. 6, 1985 whom she allegedly abandoned at a Frenchville gravel pit in subzero temperatures. The baby, who has become known as Baby Jane Doe, was later discovered by a dog, a Siberian Husky named Paca, who carried her body to its owners’ home less than a quarter mile away. Daigle has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to be tried in September.
Colette Daggett, 43, of New Vineyard died on June 1, 2021, in what appeared to be a car accident. Her death was not ruled a homicide until a year later. Her husband, Wilfred Daggett Jr., 43, of New Vineyard, was charged with murder but took his own life on June 10 when police tried to arrest him.