A Vassalboro man charged with murdering a family friend claims he was sexually molested by the victim when he was a child. That’s an allegation the family of the accused killer isn’t buying.
Courtney Shea, 30, was in court this morning to be arraigned on a murder charge. He’s also charged with violating his probation.
Police say Shea fatally stabbed Tom Namer, 69, last week before dumping his body behind an abandoned trailer in Vassalboro and calling police. An autopsy revealed Namer had been stabbed three times in the neck and at least two other stab wounds on his body.
According to court documents, Shea says Namer had molested him as a child and made a sexual advance at him in a car late Thursday night, shortly before the murder occurred. Shea then told family members he blacked out and when he woke up, he realized he had killed Namer and asked his brother to help him bury the body. According to court documents the murder came after a long night of drinking.
Shea has a long history of breaking the law. In 2009 he was convicted of robbing a Waterville convenience store. He was also convicted of criminal mischief in 2012 and most recently he was convicted of operating after habitual offender revocation and operating under the influence March 17 in Augusta. He received a six-month jail sentence and a $1,700 fine. He was originally arrested Friday on a probation violation prior to being charged with murder.
Shea also told police he had not been feeling well for the past month and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being sexually molested by a former romantic partner of his mother from the time he was five years old. Shea also told police Namer had started molesting him when he was 11 and that Namer often gave rides to young boys and girls and routinely bought them cigarettes and alcohol in exchange for sexual favors.
Shea’s aunt, Elizabeth Handy, tells us she and other members of Shea’s family don’t believe Shea’s accusation of sexual abuse. Handy says she’s known Namer for more than 30 years and described him as a kind man “with a big heart.”
“I love family and place a high priority on family and I know the allegation is coming from a family member,” Handy said last week. “But Tom has been part of my grandkids lives, my kids since they were born and there has never, ever been any inappropriate conduct on Tom’s part. I just don’t see that happening.”
Assistant Attorney General Bill Stokes says all prosecutors know is what Shea told police.
“Mr. Shea had called Mr. Namer for a ride. They have known each other for many, many years. As you saw in the affidavit we just know what he has said. We don’t know whether it’s true or not but that’s what he alleges,” Stokes said outside the courthouse.
A judge ordered Shea held without bail. He remains in the Kennebec County Jail. He’s due in court again next month.