Maine man suspected of fatally stabbing 3 is held without bail in NH after court appearance

By Holly Ramer, AP
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No bail for Maine triple slaying suspect in NH

ROCHESTER, N.H. — A Maine man charged with killing two men and a 10-year-old boy in his home state last month will be held without bail in New Hampshire pending extradition proceedings, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Thayne Ormsby, 20, of Orient, Maine, showed no emotion as he was arraigned on a fugitive from justice charge in Rochester District Court by video hookup from the Strafford County jail. He did not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea.

An extradition hearing was scheduled for July 16 in Dover, where Ormsby was arrested Friday on the charge of being a fugitive from justice.

Ormsby is charged in the stabbing deaths of Jeffrey Ryan, 55; Ryan’s son, Jesse; and Jason Dehahn, 30, at Ryan’s home in the northern Maine town of Amity, near the Canadian border. The three were last seen alive June 22; their bodies were discovered the next day.

Ormsby was arrested after police zeroed in on him through DNA and fingerprint evidence obtained from a beer can and cigarette butt in Ryan’s home.

So far, the only hint at motive for the carnage at Ryan’s mobile home was Ormsby’s statement to Maine detectives that he killed Ryan because he thought he was a drug dealer. He gave investigators no information about a motive for killing Ryan’s son and Dehahn, a neighbor.

A relative of one of the victims has suggested Ormsby targeted Ryan for a different reason.

Dehahn’s brother, Jake, told the Bangor Daily News that Ormsby planned to move in with Jeffrey Ryan’s 16-year-old daughter and the girl’s mother in Weston, Maine, but Ryan had told Ormsby to stay away from the girl.

Investigators are looking into relationships and other possible motives, said Bill Stokes, Maine’s deputy attorney general. For now, however, investigators declined to release further details.

“A lot of things will come out in court as we get him back from New Hampshire, if we have a bail hearing,” Stokes said.

After the killings, Ormsby went to the Weston home and burned his bloodied clothes in the furnace, according to a statement he made to investigators. It’s unclear whether the girl or her mother knew he’d been there.

At the time of the killings, Ormsby was living with Robert and Joy Strout in Orient. Investigators said the Strouts’ daughter is the mother of Ryan’s 16-year-old daughter and a longtime friend of Ormsby’s mother.

Robert Strout told state police detectives he gave Ormsby a ride out of state, to Dover, N.H., after the killings because Ormsby had threatened him and his family. Strout, who has not been charged, also said he drove Ormsby to a bog, where Ormsby threw a knife in the water. Maine State Police divers found the knife Saturday, authorities said.

A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at the home of Ormsby’s mother declined to comment and hung up.

Republican John Frary, who hired Ormsby to work on his failed campaign in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in 2008, said Ormsby came from an unhappy home. Frary, a retired college professor and self-proclaimed contrarian, said Ormsby was one of three men, all of whom qualified as homeless, who served as “live-in aides” during the race. He said Ormsby stayed on after the election but left in a huff after exchanging words over an overloaded washing machine.

“I knew a mixed-up, immature adult named Thayne Ormsby. The alleged murderer Thayne Ormsby is a complete stranger,” Frary wrote in an online newspaper, the Daily Bulldog.

Associated Press writer David Sharp in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

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