September 30, 2013

Rome home invader wearing ski mask, brass knuckles shot dead Saturday

Christopher Dennison was shot by homeowner Richard Duffy after breaking into his Foss Hill Lane mobile home, according to state police.

By MATT HONGOLTZ-HETLING Morning Sentinel

ROME — A Livermore Falls man was shot to death Saturday night after breaking into a mobile home wearing a ski mask and brass knuckles, according to state police.

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This mobile home on the Foss Hill Lane in Rome was the scene of a home invasion that turned deadly Saturday. Police say that intruder Christopher Dennison, of Livermore Falls, wore a ski mask and brass knuckles and entered the home owned by Richard Duffy, who shot and killed Dennison.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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Christopher Dennison, 44, of Livermore Falls, was killed by the homeowner, Richard Duffy, 48, according to Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman.

Both men have criminal histories.

Duffy, who lives at 28 Foss Hill Lane off state Route 225 with his teenage son, shot Dennison after a brief altercation in the living room about 8 p.m., according to McCausland.

An autopsy showed Dennison died from multiple gunshot wounds. Neither Duffy nor his son, who was home at the time, were injured.

Police did not release details of the confrontation, which is at the center of their ongoing investigation. The case will also be reviewed by the Maine attorney general's office.

Brass knuckles are a metal hand-held weapon that curves around the fingers.

It's not clear how Dennison came to drive to Duffy's trailer, which shares a dirt road with two other homes in a sparsely populated area in the town of about 1,000. Police said there is no indication that the two knew each other.

Duffy's home, set back from the road, is out of view of other residences and is marked with several "no trespassing" and "keep out" signs.

This morning, his neighbors pulled a chain across his driveway after feeding his animals, which include several pigs and chickens. They said they were in contact with Duffy by phone and referred questions about the shooting to his lawyer, Tom Ferris, of Waterville.

On Saturday night, Duffy was home enjoying his evening just before his property was invaded, Ferris said.

"We don't have all the facts in yet, but from all appearances, this looks like straight-up self defense," Ferris said. "It was a home invasion. My client was just defending himself and his family."

McCausland said police learned Sunday that there was a second man, who police would not identify, in the passenger seat of Dennison's car. McCausland said once the man in the car heard the shots, he ran off. The man was interviewed by investigators, who will likely talk to him again, McCausland said.

No charges have been filed against the passenger or against Duffy.

In August, Duffy was sentenced to a suspended sentence and a $500 fine in Kennebec County Superior Court for assault and criminal mischief on Feb. 1 in Oakland.

Capt. Rick Stubbert of the Oakland Police Department said that in February, Duffy assaulted a 22-year-old man that Duffy did not know in the parking lot of Valero, a gas station on Oak Street.

In that case, Stubbert said, Duffy was walking past the gas station and was visibly angry. When he noticed the 22-year-old watching him, "Duffy didn't appreciate being watched," Stubbert said, and approached the victim.

In that case, the assault did not involve weapons and the victim suffered no significant injuries, Stubbert said.

Duffy drew the criminal mischief charge because he kicked the victim's car, Stubbert said.

Dennison was a hunter and motorcyclist who was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence earlier this year.

According to state deer lottery records, Dennison won a permit in 2008.

In May, Dennison was charged with operating under the influence after crashing his motorcycle on Route 27 in Piittston, according to police reports. Dennison, who lost control and crashed, suffered non life-threatening head injuries and was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Maine State Police was the only law enforcement agency that responded to the home, McCausland said.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
mhhetling@mainetoday.com

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Additional Photos

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A sign at the end of the Foss Hill Lane in Rome lists several properties for sale.

Staff photo by David Leaming

  


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