A member of Portland’s Crime Scene Unit carries items down the hallway at 88 Gilman St. from the apartment where David Anderson was fatally shot in 2016. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer, file

It’s been eight years since a shooting in Portland’s West End left one man dead and another injured, and four years since police announced they arrested the alleged gunman.

Aristotle Stilley. Photo courtesy of Portland police

But their suspect, 27-year-old Aristotle Stilley, says they have the wrong man.

Stilley is scheduled for trial Monday morning and could be in court for at least a week.

He was arrested in California in the fall of 2020, a couple of months after he was indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury on one count of murder in connection with the death of David Anderson, 36, and one count of assault for wounding Abdirahman Abdullahi, who was 21 at the time.

It took several months to extradite Stilley back to Maine, where he pleaded not guilty in February 2021. He has been held behind bars, without bail, ever since.

The apartment where the shooting occurred at 88 Gilman St. was under investigation for drug activity at the time of the shooting on March 15, 2016, and police believed Anderson was selling heroin there, according to court records.


The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency was even surveilling the apartment the night before the shooting, according to court records. Police had received a tip that there was going to be an attack that night, but they never followed up, Stilley’s defense attorneys have said.

Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy ordered the state last week to turn over evidence from the tip, including the identity of the unnamed source.

“We are confident that the State will be unable to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt, even though they have had eight whole years to try,” Stilley’s attorney, Tina Nadeau, wrote in an email Friday. “This investigation was sparse and shoddy – the evidence will bear this out.”

David Anderson


Anderson and Abdullahi were inside apartment 305 when a person opened fire at the door. The shooter’s face was covered in surveillance camera footage captured outside the apartment, and none of the witnesses identified Stilley as the assailant, his attorney said during a bail hearing in 2021.

Police say it was Stilley’s girlfriend at the time of the shooting, Naja Lake, who led them to him as a suspect. She is one of dozens of people who lawyers have asked to call on at trial this week.


Lake went to police after the shooting to report that her gun had been stolen from her car when she went to visit her mother on Gilman Street, after dropping Stilley off at an event on the way.

But Detective Jeffrey Tully testified at Stilley’s bail hearing that Lake had lied about visiting her mother.

After Lake was offered immunity in a separate case, she told a grand jury that she and Stilley had bought a handgun together in her name, Tully said.

In the hours just before the shooting, Lake said, she drove Stilley to Maine Medical Center on Congress Street. She said he went inside for about an hour, and when he came back to the car, he asked her to drop him off about a block from Gilman Street. He returned five minutes later, and they headed back to Saco, where Lake was living – but on the way, he asked her to stop at Old Orchard Beach so he could get rid of the gun, according to what Tully said Lake told the grand jury.

Tully said Lake told the grand jury that when she asked him if he used the gun in the shooting, he didn’t deny it.

Tully said police found her gun under a dumpster on Oxford Street – not in Old Orchard Beach – a couple of months after the shooting.



For three and a half years, Stilley has maintained he was not the shooter. His many attorneys have pointed to numerous other people who could’ve done it and argued police have failed to identify a motive.

Stilley has been appointed eight attorneys since his arrest. He has been represented by Nadeau and Stephen Shea since last spring.

His first two attorneys said Stilley had “become increasingly combative, ultra-contrarian, and obstructionist.” They said Stilley had an interview script he wanted them to follow, specific witnesses to call on and questions to ask.

While he was between attorneys last February, he sent the judge a handwritten motion asking to subpoena eight people who were not identified in his file.

“As a defendant it is my right to subpoena these witnesses outside of counsel for my defense,” Stilley wrote. “I the defendant and not the lawyer or the state will bear the consequences of a possible wrongful conviction.”


His second pair of attorneys withdrew in January 2023. They didn’t explain why in court records.

His third pair withdrew because they had conflicts of interest – their previous clients are people Stilley had suggested as alternative suspects.

One of those is a man named John “JJ” McLean. He was a friend of Anderson’s, according to court records, and had allegedly made statements after the shooting suggesting he was forced to kill Anderson. McLean was subpoenaed, and both sides plan to call on him at trial.

The apartment building at 88 Gilman St., pictured in March 2016, where David Anderson was killed in a shooting that month. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer, file

The defense team has most recently pointed to a tip police received 10 hours before the shooting that suggested another person inside Anderson’s apartment that night, Anthony Osborne, was the target.

The tipster said “there was going to be some sort of violence” that night between the Osbornes and Anderson’s dealer, who James Osborne, Anthony’s brother, had allegedly told “bring your guns … we got guns too!”

“There is no indication that (Portland police officer Nicholas) Goodman, nor any other agent or officer, followed up with this source of information on the eerily prescient and timely intelligence that they provided to Goodman, even following the homicide,” Nadeau and Shea wrote in court records.

Anthony Osborne is also expected to testify at Stilley’s trial. He is currently serving eight years at the Mountain View Correctional Facility after pleading guilty to organizing the robbery that led to the death of Derald “Darry” Coffin in 2022.

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