FARMINGTON — A debt involving marijuana was at the heart of a June 1 dispute in Wilton that ended with the shooting death of Michael Reis and led to a murder charge against Timothy Danforth, attorneys disclosed Wednesday in court.

The new details were disclosed during a hearing held Wednesday in Franklin County Superior Court to determine if bail is an option for Danforth, the Wilton man charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Reis.

Danforth, 24, has been held without bail at the Franklin County Jail since he was arrested last month.

At the hearing Wednesday, Justice William Stokes said he needed to review the police affidavit filed in the case before determining whether bail is an option because Danforth is charged with intentional and knowing murder, a capital offense. Stokes had said in court he hoped to file the written bail order by the end of the day, but a Franklin County court clerk said Stokes had not yet filed a written order by the close of court at 4 p.m. The police affidavit outlining the case against Danforth remains under court seal.

Danforth’s attorney, Sarah Glynn, said the defense is not contesting that the affidavit contains probable cause alleging that Danforth killed Reis; but the defense is contesting the allegation that he intentionally and knowingly caused Reis’s death. Danforth pleaded not guilty to the murder charge at his initial court hearing last month.

Reis was a member of a group of people who went to the 259 Weld Road mobile home shortly after midnight on June 1 and got into a confrontation with the home’s occupants, who included Danforth, his father Robert Danforth, and Danforth’s fiancee. The disagreement stemmed from a debt over marijuana between Robert Danforth and another person not there at the time of the shooting, according to statements made in court Wednesday by Glynn and Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis, who is prosecuting the case.


Ellis and Glynn could not be reached for further comment after Wednesday’s hearing.

Danforth shot Reis three times at close range, according to Ellis. After he was shot, members of the group Reis was with took him to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, where he was pronounced dead.

Police identified Danforth as the shooter the day of the shooting, and Ellis said he has been cooperating and claiming self-defense since the investigation began.

With the group of people making it as far as the mobile home’s porch, Glynn said, Danforth acted in defense of the home he shared with his father and his fiancee, though it was not clear where the shooting happened.

“His involvement was protection of his home and protection of his father,” she said.

Ellis said that given the charge, he would advocate that Danforth be held without bail pending trial. However, Ellis said if Stokes does grant Danforth bail, he would argue for $150,000 cash bail with conditions including provisions barring contact with eight of the witnesses listed in the affidavit, along with prohibiting Danforth from using dangerous weapons, illegal drugs or alcohol.


Ellis argued that Danforth would be a good candidate for bail, given that he has remained cooperative with police and did not flee the area in the two months between the time of the shooting and his arrest last month.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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