Nov. 25—POLAND — One man was dead and another in custody Thursday after a body was discovered inside a trailer home on Poplar Drive in Poland.
Witnesses said deputies from the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and members of the Maine State Police began investigating the scene at 14 Poplar Drive on Thursday morning after overnight disturbances were reported at the small trailer off Hardscrabble Road.
Inside the trailer, according to witnesses, police found one man dead and his brother still inside the home.
At about 6 p.m. Thursday, police arrested Justin Butterfield, 34, of 14 Poplar Drive. He was arrested on a murder charge at the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office headquarters at 2 Turner St. in Auburn, where he had been taken for questioning.
According to a neighbor, after the suspect was placed into police custody, he sat on the stairs in front of his trailer, speckled with blood, smiling broadly and giggling to himself.
The neighbor and other witnesses did not wish to be identified.
By 6:30 p.m., the state police were still at the scene, where yellow crime scene tape had been used to cordon off the area.
"Detectives along with evidence response technicians will be processing the scene throughout the evening," said Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Killed was Butterfield's oldest brother, 38-year-old Gabe Damour. Neighbors said Butterfield had lived on Polar Drive for a long time and would take in his brother when he had nowhere else to go.
Neighbors said they were particularly familiar with Justin Butterfield. Police were often called to the scene, neighbors said, for disturbances involving Butterfield, whom many described as having a documented mental illness.
When neighbors had visitors over, one man said, they were quick to warn their guests to stay away from him and his trailer. Another woman said she would make sure to lock her doors and windows when he was walking by.
"We wouldn't let the girls out front to play," she said, "and not at all, unless they had the dog with them."
Several sources said Butterfield believed he was The Terminator, from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name. They also said the body found inside the trailer Thursday morning had been badly mutilated.
A friend of both Butterfield and the victim said Butterfield had been in and out of institutions for years. His family, the man said, would always try to get Butterfield held longer when it was time for his release. Time and time again, they said, Butterfield would be turned loose after just days, often with no medication.
The killing Thursday was shocking, friends said, but not surprising.
"He absolutely loved his brother," family friend Nate Howard of Auburn said. "I'm just floored that he would do something like this to someone he loved with his whole heart. But at the same time, we knew something like this was going to happen."
Howard was once roommates with both Butterfield and his brother. He said Butterfield had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and often believed people were out to get him, or that he was being attacked by creatures from other galaxies.
Just days ago, Howard said, Butterfield was investigated for bursting into the home of Yaicha Provencher, Butterfield's ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, but was not arrested or taken into protective custody, in spite of his history of behavior described as bizarre. And similar things have been happening for years, according to Provencher, who also has custody of Butterfield's daughter.
"There have been so, so many calls for help, so many hospital stays," Provencher said Thursday night. "But nobody listens. It's not for lack of a support system, because he had one."
She said Butterfield had a mental health counselor, and guardian ad litem had been assigned to manage Butterfield's relationships with his two children. Additionally, many family members and friends often called hospitals, mental health facilities and police departments trying to get him help.
They would tell police, mental health officials or others that Butterfield was a danger to himself and the community, Provencher said. Yet the longest he was held in protective custody was six days.
Like Howard, Provencher said Butterfield adored his older brother, the man he is now charged with killing.
"That wasn't him," Provencher said. "That was his mental illness."
State police are leading the investigation into the killing, as is protocol in homicide cases in most Maine cities and towns.