FARMINGTON — A judge has set bail at $150,000 cash for Timothy Danforth, the Wilton man charged with murder in connection with the June 1 fatal shooting of a New Sharon man.

Justice William Stokes issued the written bail order Thursday after Danforth appeared in court Wednesday for a bail hearing.

Danforth is charged with intentional and knowing murder, a formerly capital offense that carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison. He was arrested last month, over two months after the shooting death of Michael Reis, 24, of New Sharon.

The shooting occurred at 259 Weld Road, where Danforth lived with his fiancee and his father. Reis was a member of group of people who went to the home and got into a confrontation with the occupants. The confrontation allegedly stemmed from a disagreement over a marijuana debt between Danforth’s father, Robert Danforth, and another person not present the night of the shooting.

On Wednesday in court, Stokes said he needed to review the police affidavit to determine if bail is an option in this case.

The state must prove that there is probable cause that a capital offense was committed; if so, the person’s constitutional right to bail is extinguished. However, the judge has the discretion to re-establish the right to bail, as long as there is not clear and convincing evidence that the defendant might not appear in court, poses a threat to the community or is at risk of committing further criminal activity.

On Wednesday, Danforth’s attorney, Sarah Glynn, said the defense is not contesting that the affidavit contains probable cause alleging that Danforth killed Reis, but that they are contesting the allegation the he intentionally and knowingly caused Reis’s death. Glynn argued that Danforth was acting to protect his home and his family.

Danforth allegedly shot Reis three times at close range, Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis said Wednesday in court.

Danforth pleaded not guilty last month to the murder charge at his initial court hearing. Ellis said Danforth has been cooperating and claiming self-defense since the investigation began. While Ellis argued that Danforth should be held without bail, if the court found it had the discretion to set bail, he said he would be in favor of $150,000 cash with various provisions prohibiting contact with certain people and prohibiting possession of illegal drugs or firearms.

In the bail order, Stokes wrote that he reviewed four impounded affidavits — written by Maine State Police Detective Jennifer King in support of search warrants — and found that there is probable cause to believe that Danforth has committed intentional and knowing murder.

However, Stokes wrote that the prosecution has conceded that it cannot provide clear and convincing evidence that the court’s discretion to set bail can be eliminated in this case.

Upon considering factors for setting bail, including the nature and circumstance of the charges and the history and characteristics of the defendant, Stokes set bail at $150,000 cash with a Maine Pre-Trial Services Contract and stipulations that Danforth not use or posses illegal drugs or dangerous weapons along with having no direct or indirect contact with eight named individuals.

The affidavit remains under seal until further order from the court.

Reis was pronounced dead June 1 at Franklin Memorial Hospital. He had been taken to the hospital by members of the group he was with at the time.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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