Damion Butterfield, left, enters the courtroom in Cumberland County Superior Court on Wednesday at the start of his murder trial. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Early on the morning of April 26, 2022, three men were caught on a security camera, running one by one into a Westbrook apartment building.

Portland Detective Christopher Dyer said he recognized the first man, Thomas MacDonald, who lived in the building.

And he recognized the second man, Jonathan Geisinger.

But the third man? Dyer didn’t know him.

Derald “Darry” Coffin Photo courtesy of Terry Leonard

The detective took the witness stand Thursday in the murder trial against Damion Butterfield, who police say shot Derald “Darry” Coffin and Annabelle Hartnett in a robbery scheme with MacDonald, Geisinger, and a fourth man, Anthony Osborne.

Butterfield, 24, pleaded not guilty last summer. He also entered an insanity plea, but his attorneys agreed to withdraw that plea late last week, according to court records, agreeing with prosecutors that neither their hired expert nor their case supported that defense.



Coffin and Hartnett were shot a little after 1 a.m. on Woodford Street in Portland. Hartnett testified Wednesday that she saw three men approach her car, demand money, and beat Coffin. Osborne had been sitting in the back seat during the assault. Prosecutors say he orchestrated the attack.

On the second day of trial Thursday, prosecutors focused on the police investigation and how Dyer and other detectives pieced together their case in the weeks between the shooting and a string of arrests in June.

Prosecutors played footage that they say shows Geisinger, MacDonald, and Butterfield fleeing the scene and running toward MacDonald’s apartment. As they ran, a police cruiser responding to the shooting caught a glimpse of a green Honda Element parked nearby.

Dyer testified Thursday that police linked that car to MacDonald – he had rented it from Conley Enterprises, according to court documents.

Officers then gathered surveillance footage from around MacDonald’s apartment building. Dyer said it showed MacDonald and Geisinger leaving the building in the rental car before the shooting and returning on foot with a third man, later identified as Butterfield, after the shooting.


Police searched the apartment and questioned MacDonald. He initially denied having a role but then turned himself into Westbrook police and confessed, according to a police affidavit from June 2022.

MacDonald is expected to testify during the two-week trial and identify Butterfield as the gunman. He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal apprehension in April when prosecutors agreed to drop his felony murder charge. He has yet to be sentenced.


However, the crime scene evidence shared Thursday did not directly implicate Butterfield. It likely will be the same evidence prosecutors share at Osborne’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 8, and in Geisinger’s, if he goes to court (he did not have a scheduled trial date as of Dec. 1.)

Prosecutors called on three evidence technicians, who had analyzed the crime scene and documented Hartnett’s and Coffin’s injuries. Technicians also examined Hartnett’s Range Rover, MacDonald’s rented Honda Element, and MacDonald’s truck, where they recovered the gun used in the shooting from the back seat. It was wrapped in a plastic grocery bag and a gray towel. Prosecutors said the gun belonged to Geisinger.

Defense attorney James Howaniec holds a photograph of a gun in evidence during his opening statements in the murder trial against Damion Butterfield at Cumberland County Superior Court on Wednesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

They also called on Chief Medical Examiner Mark Flomenbaum, who described Coffin’s fatal gunshot wound to his liver. As he went over X-ray images and photos of Coffin’s body for the jury, a court marshal brought a box of tissues to Coffin’s family sitting in the gallery.


Evidence technicians couldn’t find Butterfield’s DNA or fingerprints on the .22 caliber gun or on the side of Hartnett’s car where the men allegedly pulled Coffin from the passenger seat and beat him.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin makes her opening statements in the case against Damion Butterfield in Cumberland County Superior Court. Wednesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

But that doesn’t mean Butterfield wasn’t at the crime scene, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said – technicians told the court that fingerprints are subject to all kinds of conditions, like weather and surface type, or how oily someone’s fingers might be.

But Butterfield’s lawyer, James Howaniec, suggested in cross-examination that the lack of fingerprint and DNA evidence is a major part of Butterfield’s defense.

Howaniec also focused heavily on a black jacket recovered from the scene, which investigators believed one of Coffin’s and Hartnett’s’ attackers shed while running from the shooting.

When Hartnett described the shooter on Wednesday, she was firm that her shooter was wearing black and red. Howaniec asked if she was sure several times.

The jacket shown in court Thursday was just black.


“[Was there] anything connected to Damion that you analyzed?” Howaniec asked Jamie Beals, one of three evidence technicians who testified Thursday. “Anything that looks like a sweatshirt as opposed to a jacket?”

“No,” Beals said.

“Anything that you analyzed that was related to Damion Butterfield’s clothing that had red lettering across it?” he asked.

“Not that I recall,” she said.

Butterfield’s trial is scheduled to resume Friday morning.

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