PORTLAND — Renee Sandora called 911 on Monday to report that her boyfriend had shot her and a friend. She spoke for 35 seconds before the call went dead.

“My boyfriend just shot me … He shot his friend, too. I’ve got four kids,” Sandora said, according to a police affidavit. Sandora said the gunman was inside the house and she was outside, but unable to leave because he had her car keys. The children were in her car.

On the recording, according to the affidavit, Sandora can be heard talking to someone else.

“What — are you going to kill me in front of my kids?” she asked.

Maine State Police charged Joel Hayden with two counts of murder Wednesday following his release from Maine Medical Center in Portland. Hayden, 29, is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Superior Court today.

Sandora, 27, and the friend, 28-year-old Trevor Mills of New Bedford, Mass., died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Tuesday, a day after the shooting at Sandora’s home in New Gloucester.


Sandora and Hayden’s 7-year-old son witnessed the shooting. The child told a detective that his parents had been arguing about visiting “Auntie” and that Hayden was holding car keys away from Sandora, according to the affidavit. The boy told police that Hayden pushed Mills through a door, breaking the glass, before firing on Mills and Sandora.

Neighbors saw the child running in the yard yelling, “Don’t shoot,” and “Don’t leave,” as a car sped away, according to the affidavit. Joel Hayden was taken into police custody Monday night after he crashed in Lyman. He had been in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon.

Hayden and Sandora had four children together — the 7-year-old son was the oldest and the youngest are 3-month-old twins. Sandora’s parents told police the couple and their children lived at the Bennett Road mobile home. Sandora’s parents said Sandora and Hayden had been arguing incessantly since June and that Sandora would kick out Hayden, who would return later.

They said Hayden was accusing her of having a relationship with Mills, whom police described as Hayden’s longtime friend.

In 2008, Sandora twice sought protection-from-abuse orders in Portland District Court against Hayden. Both were dismissed — the first because Sandora did not appear at the hearing and the second at her request.

Police said that there were no current orders at the time of the shooting.


In her complaint for the first order, issued in May 2008, she wrote that Hayden had attacked her and pushed her down. The complaint was dismissed and the temporary order was terminated after she failed to appear for the hearing.

In October 2008, Sandora wrote in a second complaint that Hayden had been verbally harassing her, threatening her and had stolen her car. On a separate page, she wrote “Threatened to tie me up and burn my house down with me in it. Kill anyone in my home and drowned me in their blood. Cut out my unborn child. (8 wks pregnant).”

A judge granted the order, which among other things, prohibited Hayden from contacting Sandora. Hayden was allowed to have supervised visits with his son through a program approved by Sandora.

In February 2009, Sandora asked for termination of the order. She wrote that their son had been asking for his father, who was serving an 11-month sentence at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. She was the only one who could bring him, she wrote. Hayden had been arrested by Auburn police and convicted for the felony of eluding an officer.

The case file contains letters Hayden sent to Sandora while he was incarcerated. In an October letter, he wrote about missing their son and regretting that he had never taken him trick-or-treating at Halloween. He told her he realized that taking pills affected his reality and led to “thinking nuts,” talking crazy and acting “paranoid skitso.” He expressed hope that they could be friends even if they didn’t remain a couple and praised her for having a good heart and being a loving mother. He apologized for disappointing her and breaking promises.

“I’m sorry for it all all the verbal mental and physical,” Hayden wrote. He wrote he looked at her as “a real good person” and said “(I) just got problems with my self (I) guess” because “you do nothing wrong.”

Ann S. Kim — 791-6383



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