Media Archive

2 slain in Milo, Corinth

Article from Bangor Daily News, Monday, April 17, 2006

By Judy Harrison
Staff Writer

The Houlton police chief said Monday that the Canadian man wanted in connection with the slayings of two registered sex offenders in Maine may have taken weapons from his father and slipped out through a window in the father's Houlton home.

The man, Stephen A. Marshall, 20, shot himself in the head with a .45 caliber handgun when officers stopped his bus in Boston and climbed aboard about 7:25 p.m. Sunday, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County, Mass., district attorney.

Maine State Police had alerted Boston authorities after discovering Marshall's pickup truck abandoned in Bangor as well as bullets linked to him in the restroom of a Bangor bus station, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The shooting victims were identified as Joseph L. Gray, 57, of 233 West Main St. in Milo and William Elliott, 24, of 953 Main St. in Corinth.

A woman who reportedly witnessed the Corinth shooting gave detectives a license plate number and a description of the truck in which the gunman fled. Bangor police found a 2002 Toyota Tundra pickup bearing that license plate about 1 p.m. Sunday behind Sawyer Arena in Hayford Park in Bangor.

The mud-splattered silver truck was parked next to a trash container behind the skating rink on Thirteenth Street. It is registered to Ralph A. Marshall of Houlton, Stephen Marshall's father.

On Monday, Ralph Marshall told reporters in Houlton that his son had visited him before, but that the visits were infrequent. The most recent visit began Thursday. "We have a very strong relationship," Marshall said Monday.

Police Chief Daniel Soucy said Monday that the elder Marshall had said the son may have slipped out a window of the Houlton home with the guns. The chief said Marshall did not report his vehicle as stolen because he believed that his son might have taken it to go target practicing.

Ralph Marshall said his son, whose home was in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, had dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship. He said he did not believe his son had ever been sexually abused.

Police cornered Marshall on a Vermont Bus Lines coach that he had boarded in Bangor, Procopio said.

The bus was on a ramp leading onto Interstate 90, a short distance from its destination at Boston's South Station.

After the bus shooting, Marshall was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:24 p.m. Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

No one else on the bus was injured, Procopio said, but passengers who were splattered with blood were taken to area hospitals to be examined.

Paramedics found a second handgun in Marshall's possession when they treated him for his injuries, Procopio said.

The truck was taken to the state police crime lab in Augusta for processing after detectives photographed it and went through two green trash bags in the trash container.

Gray was shot at about 3 a.m., and Elliott was killed approximately five hours later, Maine State Police Lt. Jackie Theriault said Sunday afternoon.

Theriault said the victims were registered sex offenders and that as a precaution the Maine Sex Offender Registry, which is maintained by the state police and contains photos, names and addresses of more than 2,200 Maine registered sex offenders, had been taken offline. It was put back on line Monday afternoon. The state police official did not elaborate.

Elliott was convicted in 2002 in 3rd District Court in Newport of sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to four months in jail. As a result of that misdemeanor conviction, he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Information on Gray's criminal history was not available Sunday.

The father of the Corinth victim said Sunday night in a phone interview with the Bangor Daily News that his son was awakened about 8 that morning by a knock on the door.

"He went to the door, opened it up, and the guy just started shooting," said Wayne Elliott, 61, of Charleston. "He kept shooting after he fell to the floor."

The elder Elliott said that his son's girlfriend witnessed the shooting and was able to describe the shooter to police.

"I loved him very much and he loved me, and we always told each other that," Wayne Elliott said. "I saw him day before yesterday, and yesterday talked to him on phone. I had no idea anybody hated him this much. He had all kinds of friends and was a hard worker."

William Elliott operated a small junkyard from his rented residence, his father said. The trailer, located in a gully on Route 15 in Corinth, was surrounded Sunday by tires, a school bus, appliances and other discarded items.

In Milo, 18 miles from the junkyard, yellow police tape blocked off the long driveway to Gray's neat white, ranch-style home nestled in a pine wood. A white mailbox nearby, decorated with bright, red cardinals, had the number 233 stamped on it in black.

Detectives said that in addition to the state police, the Bangor Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Penobscot and Piscataquis County Sheriff's Departments assisted in the investigation.

It was not immediately clear if or how Marshall knew either Gray or Elliott, or if the three men had any connection with one another.



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