Gorman returned to Maine

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 16, 2001

Messenger Publisher

A shoplifting arrest on Monday and a menacing incident on Tuesday helped lead Troy police to Jeffery "Russ" Gorman

Gorman, 21, of Scarbrough, Maine, and originally from Troy, was being held Saturday in a Maine jail on probation violation charges; he also has been identified as a prime suspect in a high-profile murder case there.

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His arrest in Troy on Wednesday followed a four-hour standoff, during which time Gorman waved two small-caliber guns and at one time threatened to shoot himself. He remained in the Troy jail until Friday, when Maine authorities took custody of Gorman.

Sgt. Bennie Scarbrough, public information officer for the Troy Police Department, said the Monday arrest of a Maine man for shoplifting at Troy tipped officers that Gorman might have returned to his hometown.

"We’d been notified by Maine authorities to be on the lookout," Scarbrough said.

When Shawn Littlefield was arrested for shoplifting at the Troy Wal-Mart on Monday, officers began to suspect a connection. "He was from Maine," Scarbrough said.

On Tuesday, the connection was confirmed when police received a report that a man had threatened someone outside a local restaurant (a Maine newspaper identified as Blimpie’s) before driving away in a red Dodge Neon with Maine license plates. "(Gorman) pulled a weapon, but I don’t know the specifics of what was said," Scarbroug h said.

By Wednesday afternoon, another tip had put Gorman at a Luverne Highway residence. When police went to serve the fugitive warrant for parole violation, the standoff ensued.

Scarbrough said Gorman had apparently been staying with friends and relatives in the Troy area, but police have not said how long he had been here.

According to a story published in the Portland Press-Herald, Gorman was identified on Tuesday as a suspect in the disappearance of Amy St. Laurent. She disappeared on Oct. 21 after an outing to Portland nightclubs. She later attended a private party, which she left with two men. One of the men reportedly told police he dropped her off at the same party about an hour later. The report says police doubt the man’s story, and they have not publicly identified Gorman as that man.

Laurent’s body was discovered Dec. 8 in a shallow grave in the woods near Sacrborough, less than a mile from the house where Gorman and his mother live

Scarbrough said he could not release details of the Maine investigation.

As of early Saturday, Gorman was being held without bail in the Cumberland County (Maine) Jail.

Gorman has a criminal history in both Troy and Maine. He was convicted in 1998 of theft here in Troy and served 39 days in jail. In Maine, he was convicted of theft and sentenced to serve one year probation. According to Maine authorities, he twice violated that probation ­ once in September and once in November. The arrest warrant issued for his probation violation described Gorman as possibly armed and dangerous.

Scarborough said the menacing charge in Troy would be put on hold pending the resolution of the Maine charges. Littlefield remained in the Troy City Jail on Saturday, charged with shoplifting.