Gorman remains in Maine jail

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2001

Staff Writer

The man who kept Troy police at bay for four hours the night of Dec. 12 and is considered a prime suspect in a Maine murder is being held in a Portland jail without bail.

Jeffrey "Russ" Gorman, 21, of Scarborough, Maine, and a former resident of Troy, was taken into custody by Troy authorities around 7 p.m. Dec. 12 after a four-hour standoff in a residence on U.S. 29 South, and was extradited by authorities in Maine.

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According to the Portland Press Herald, Superior Court Justice G. Arthur Brennan refused to release Gorman on bail earlier this week, pending a hearing next month on charges of leaving the state without permission and committing three other probation violations.

Gorman is a suspect in the disappearance of a 25-year-old Maine woman. The body of Amy St. Laurent of South Berwick was found Dec. 8 in a shallow grave in a wooded area of rural Scarborough, Maine. She disappeared on Oct. 21 after a night of dancing in Portland.

The state medical examiner has released no cause of death in the St. Laurent case.

Gorman, who has been on probation since last year when he pleaded guilty to breaking into a motor vehicle, has been interviewed by police at least five times since St. Laurent’s disappearance.

Through his attorney, Clifford Strike, Gorman has maintained his innocence in St. Laurent’s murder.

But, during the hearing on Wednesday, St. Laurent’s name was never mentioned and prosecutors asked Gorman be kept behind bars out of concern he will leave the state again.

Gorman was apparently in Troy visiting family earlier this month but failed to notify his probation officer before his departure, making him a fugitive.

Acting on a tip, officers with the Troy Police Department went to the residence on Highway 29. Upon their arrival, officers received consent to search the home and soon thereafter located Gorman, who was armed with two firearms and threatened to shoot himself.

Initially, there were "two or three" others in the residence, including a child, but none of their lives were ever in danger, said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the TPD.

Two trained negotiators from the TPD began talking with Gorman around 3 p.m. while the tactical unit stood by and patrol officers blocked the highway to traffic.

After four hours of "constant negotiations," Gorman gave himself up to officers, Scarbrough said, adding it was also the longest and most tense negotiators had experienced.

"At one time he had a gun pointed at each temple," Scarbrough said.

The negotiators were working to end the standoff peacefully and to keep Gorman contained.

Although Gorman has not been charged with murder, he was taken into custody on the fugitive warrant for the probation violation out of Maine.