September 25, 2013

Maine man charged with double murder in Oakfield shootings

Police say they are not aware of any link between the victims and the suspect, Matthew Davis of Houlton.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Houlton man was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder in a shooting early Monday in Aroostook County.

Matthew Davis, 32, is being held in the Aroostook County Jail and is expected to make his initial court appearance Wednesday. He is charged with killing a couple whose bodies were found by firefighters responding to a predawn fire at a home in Oakfield, just west of Houlton.

Police identified one of the victims Tuesday as Michael Kitchen, 51, an auto mechanic. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The other victim is presumed to be Heidi Pratt, 49, who owned the home, said State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland. The state Medical Examiner's Office is doing additional work to identify that victim and how she died, McCausland said. She was also shot.

Police are not yet aware of any connection between Davis and either of the two victims.

Davis also is suspected of setting fire to Pratt's house; a nearby business, Katahdin Forest Products; and a vehicle at the business. He also is believed to have stolen two vehicles -- one from a home, the other from Katahdin Forest Products.

Davis, who works as a carpenter, was arrested Monday morning in one of the stolen vehicles after a manhunt. He was taken to jail for questioning but was not charged until Tuesday, after the state Attorney General's Office reviewed the case.

David Gordon, president and CEO of Katahdin Forest Products, said his business sustained tens of thousands of dollars in damage but his heart breaks for the victims.

"I knew them both," he said. "It's a small town."

Gordon said one of his employees called him early Monday morning to report the damage caused by the small fire at his business. He said more damage was caused when the suspect used a car-carrier truck to smash into the building.

"We've got it on video," Gordon said. "It's very bizarre. All the lights are flashing on the truck."

Gordon said Davis drove the carrier truck through the locked gate about 4 a.m. Monday, then backed the vehicle into the building. At some point, he allegedly started a fire in an office and then fled in one of Gordon's trucks.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

erussell@pressherald.com

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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