2016-09-28 / Front Page

Biddeford shooting investigated as homicide

Police seek ‘people of interest’ in murder of 30-year-old
By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — The Monday morning shooting death of a 30-year-old Biddeford man is being investigated as a homicide, police said Tuesday.

Maine State Police say Jonathon Methot of Biddeford was shot and killed at a duplex at 68-70 West Cutts Street just after 1 a.m. Monday.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday that police have not yet identified any suspects in the crime, although they are continuing to interview those who may have been present at the time shots were fired. McCausland said police believe a number of people were either present during the incident or were immediately nearby.

As of Tuesday, MSP were actively seeking a couple of individuals of interest “to get their side of the story,” but McCausland did not label them as suspects.

“At this point, we’re still trying to get everyone involved who were potential eyewitnesses, and we’re assessing that information,” he said.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency is involved with the investigation to determine whether Methot’s death may have been drug-related.

MDEA Commander Scott Pelletier said he could not comment directly on the case, and could only confirm that his agency is involved in the investigation.

“Unfortunately, I can confirm that we’ve assisted the MSP, as we do with any agency that asks us,” Pelletier said Tuesday. “Drugs seem to be involved in a number of criminal issues that society deals with. Because we are a source of information at times with different databases, we’re often offering our assistance or asked for our assistance, even if it’s just to check names.”

Methot was a resident of the duplex in which he was killed. According to state records, he was listed as a tenant of 68 Cutts St. as of Aug. 23.

Although police have released few details regarding the crime scene, new details are emerging about the victim’s criminal history, which dates back to 2005.

In 2006, Methot was charged with felony unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, a Class B crime, and Class D unlawful possession of scheduled drugs. Those charges were dismissed, although he was sentenced to 180 days of incarceration for unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs. Methot only spent 30 of those days behind bars.

In July 2012, Methot was found guilty on charges of domestic violence assault, and was fined $500 in 2013 for violating conditions of release following a misdemeanor theft.

Most recently, in March of this year, he was fined $700 for operating under the influence and $400 for unlawful possession of scheduled drugs relating to an incident in May 2015.

Methot’s death has struck fear among residents of the tiny neighborhood, which is located on a dead-end street bisected from the city’s downtown by railroad tracks.

According to some neighbors, drug deals are often seen occurring on the road and its adjacent side streets.

“I see drug deals go down right in front of my house, and I hope the police are taking it seriously,” said Maureen Thibeault, who lives about two houses away from the duplex.

Other residents said they would strongly consider moving if this shooting proves to be drug-related, stating there have been shootings in the neighborhood in the past.

The duplex where Methot was killed sits directly next to the train tracks, which separate the street from Cutts Street to the east.

Eyewitnesses reportedly saw two men fleeing the scene over the tracks just after shots were heard Monday, but McCausland said he had no confirmation of that Tuesday.

McCausland said going forward, the MSP will continue interviewing those who may have been in the house at the time of the shooting, and will expand its efforts in the coming days.

“As a result of their answers, we sometimes will then go back to re-interview them, just to get some clarification on a certain point,” McCausland said. “Beyond that, we should then start expanding that circle to neighbors, friends, family and anybody who knew the victim or might have been in the apartment.”

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com.

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