Suspect told cops he was paranoid


CONWAY, N.H. (AP) – Michael Woodbury said James Walker made him paranoid, so he shot him; Gary and William Jones got in his way, so he shot them too.

Maine convict Michael Woodbury has already admitted publicly that he fatally shot three men at a Conway outdoors store earlier this month and faces three counts of first degree murder. Newly unsealed court documents give his account of the shootings to police after they caught up to him in Fryeburg, Maine on July 3, the day after the shootings.

According to the documents, Woodbury, 31, told police he would tell them everything they needed to know in exchange for food, drink and a couple of cigarettes.

Woodbury said Walker, the manager of the Army Barracks store, let him inside before the store was open on the morning of July 2. While inside, Woodbury said Walker made him angry by giving one-word answers to complicated questions. On top of that, Woodbury said he was paranoid because he was wanted in other states, and became suspicious that Walker was carrying a weapon, the documents said. Woodbury said he thought Walker was reaching for a weapon when he bent under a counter, so he shot him.

“I capped him. I shot him in the back of the head,” the documents quoted Woodbury.

Woodbury said Gary Jones and William Jones, two friends on a camping trip, walked into the store just as he was turning to run.

“He decided to shoot them, he said that he wouldn’t have shot them if they had not been in his way,” court documents stated.

The documents also stated that Woodbury initially asked authorities for the death penalty and said he didn’t want a lawyer because he didn’t want to be cleared of the crimes.

Walker, 34, lived in Denmark, Maine. William Jones, 25, was from Walpole, Mass. and Gary Jones, 23, was from Halifax, Mass. The Joneses were not related. Woodbury was released from the Maine State Prison in early May. In the weeks leading to the shootings, authorities said he went on a crime spree through several states that included a bank robbery in South Carolina, burglary and arson in Georgia, car theft in Kentucky and armed robbery in Tennessee.

Woodbury made his first public admission of the shooting to reporters while heading into a Maine courtroom. He spoke about the shootings again in a series of jailhouse interviews after being transported back to New Hampshire.

On Wednesday, members of William Jones’ family who attended Woodbury’s court hearing criticized news organizations’ coverage of the case.

“Every time you give a murderer what he wants you contribute to the family’s pain and every time you run a piece that features the murderer over and above his victims, you contribute to the family’s pain,” said Christine Jones, an aunt of William Jones. “Reporting on legal proceedings and what is stated during them is one thing. We are prepared as we can be for this. But to sensationalize this tragedy as you did is wrong.”

Woodbury’s case now moves to a Carroll County grand jury.

Information from: WMUR-TV,