BELFAST — A bail hearing was held Monday for a Stockton Springs man charged with the brutal beating death of a woman 36 years ago in his hometown.
Kirt Damon Sr., 57, was arrested in September in the death of 63-year-old Dorothea Burke. He was in court asking to be released on bail pending his trial.
Justice Robert Murray denied the request saying there was evidence that Damon was possibly a danger to others in the community, including potential witnesses.
“The affidavit again outlines specific references to fears of threats and descriptions of specific threats made by this defendant to various witnesses at times throughout the investigation of these charges that is a significant consideration for the court,” Murray said on the bench at the Waldo Judicial Center.
Murray said he also weighed other aggravating factors, including Damon’s lengthy criminal history, and mitigating factors that include a strong family presence, in making his decision.
“This court, in its exercise of discretion, determines that bail should not be granted and under that discretionary authority I’m going to order the defendant be held without bail,” the judge said.
Damon is accused of killing Burke after a family wedding on June 23, 1984.
“The court has to take into consideration the brutality of the crime, whether it was committed yesterday or in 1984,” said Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting the case with Assistant Attorney General Lara Nomani. “And the state has provided to the court the affidavit which outlines just how horrific of murder is alleged here.”
Damon’s next scheduled court date is in December.
The day Burke went missing was her birthday and family members have said for years they knew Damon was involved. Her bludgeoned body was found a few days later on a dirt road.
After Monday’s Harnish hearing, Roxanne Smith, a niece of Burke’s, said she was nervous that Damon would be released but after learning he would remain behind bars she said, “I could do a cartwheel.”
Maine State Police detectives still want to talk to anyone who has information about the case and ask people to call their unsolved homicide unit in Augusta at 624-7143.