Man's Death on a Maine Island Doesn't End as You'd Expect

6 witnesses told the same story, but no one was ever arrested
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2021 1:30 PM CST
They Saw a Man Swing the Ax, and Another Die. But No Arrest
A view of Vinalhaven.   (Getty Images)

That there was enmity between Roger Feltis and Dorian and Briannah Ames was well-known. The source of it is murkier, but the outcome was painfully clear: on a June night in 2020, Feltis ended up dead. How is somewhat murky, too. In a lengthy piece for Esquire, Jesse Ellison first sets the scene. Feltis and the couple lived on Vinalhaven, a small Maine island of about 1,200 people accessible via a 75-minute ferry ride from the mainland. It's a place known for its "island justice" and home to just one cop, who was most often described as "useless." Feltis arrived on the island in 2019, and the clashes began immediately. There are plenty of theories why: Some said Feltis got a job as a sternman on a lobster boat that Dorian was also up for; others sourced the friction to the fact that Feltis had a child with a cousin of Briannah's he was no longer with.

Feltis went to the town cop with accusations: that Briannah posted about him being a "skinner" (slang for pedophile) on Facebook, and that Dorian had cut his brake lines, nearly causing him to crash. Things came to a head on June 14. An irate Feltis insisted his girlfriend bring him to the Ames' home. She did, and another car of friends followed, meaning there were six people who watched what transpired between Feltis and the couple: They said Dorian came out of the house with an ax; that Briannah punched Feltis in the face, pushed him, and yelled at Dorian to "hit that b----." They say they saw Dorian swing the ax, and that Feltis then came back to the car with a 9.5-inch wound between his neck and shoulder so deep they could see bone. He died. And yet no one was ever arrested, with the state calling it a case of self-defense; Dorian and Briannah say Briannah caused that wound with a fillet knife. (Read the full story for much more.)

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