SOUTH PARIS — A Mexico man denied a murder charge Monday in the August slaying of his stepson.

Thomas B. Tellier Oxford County Sheriff’s Office photo

Thomas B. Tellier, 52, appeared in Oxford County Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentional or knowing murder.

Conviction of that crime in Maine carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum term of life.

Justice Julia Lipez denied Tellier bail after hearing arguments from defense and prosecuting attorneys.

An Oxford County grand jury indicted Tellier earlier this month for murder having found probable cause to support that charge.

Tellier’s attorney, George Hess, argued Monday that his client was in fear of his stepson, Nicholas Trynor, 27, and believed he posed a threat to himself and his wife and son.


Hess read portions of Tellier’s statements to police following the Aug. 6 fatal shooting of Trynor at the family’s home at 32 Intervale Ave., Mexico.

Police said Trynor was shot twice in the chest and arms with a Mossberg 500 pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun in the hallway of the home shortly before 1 p.m. on that day.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hess told the judge that Trynor kept a collection of knives at the home, but Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said no knives were found in Trynor’s possession or near where his body was found after he had been shot.

Hess said his client worked full-time at a hardware story and had deep family ties in Maine.

Tellier had remained at the crime scene and had cooperated with police before his arrest, suggesting he would not be a flight risk if released on bail.


Hess recommended Tellier be confined to house arrest and be monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet after posting a $25,000 real estate-backed bond.

In ruling that Tellier be held without bail until trial, Lipez said the possible sentence for a murder conviction in Tellier’s case caused her “significant” concern about the risk of his flight as well as the possibility of tampering with witnesses.

Tellier’s wife, who was at home at the time of the fatal shooting, has become estranged from Tellier since the incident and fears him, Zainea said.

Lipez said she would expect Tellier’s wife would be called as a primary witness in the case.

“I’ve been told that she has fear of him, which is understandable given what she is alleged to have witnessed, and I am concerned that if Mr. Tellier was released, there would be a great incentive to tamper with or speak to his wife about her potential testimony in the case and, as I said, this is an incredibly serious charge,” Lipez said.

Tellier told police he had argued with his stepson earlier in the day on Aug. 6 because Tellier’s 5-year-old son, Tommy, who has autism, had hit Trynor. In response, Trynor had slapped the boy, Tellier said.


He told police Trynor was “controlling (and) argumentative” and didn’t treat Tellier’s young son properly, according to a police affidavit.

Tellier said he grabbed a loaded shotgun from his bedroom and went in search of Trynor to make him leave the home, he told police.

Tellier told police he grabbed his gun because the last time Trynor had been in a rage like this one, he’d had a knife.

When Trynor reportedly threatened Tellier again, he shot him, he told police.

Maine’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner said an autopsy revealed the cause of death as blood loss due to lung damage. Pellets from the shotgun shells had apparently perforated Trynor’s chest, lungs, diaphragm and heart.

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