BANGOR — It took a Penobscot County jury less than four hours Monday to return a guilty verdict for the man accused of murdering Sally Shaw, 55, of New Gloucester.
Shaw had been in a relationship with the defendant, Carine Reeves, 40, of Queens, N.Y., according to her children, who reside in Portland and Massachusetts and testified last week about the pair’s relationship.
Shaw also had been Reeves’ driver in the drug trade, according to Maine Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam, the prosecutor during the more than week-long trial held at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
“Drugs like cocaine and heroin are transported to Maine,” Elam told the jury in her closing arguments Monday. “Once here the cocaine is cooked…every few days $20,000 to $30,000 thousand dollars is made in the drug trade. “It’s a dangerous business and no one knew that better than Sally Shaw.”
“Sally learned just how dangerous the drug world is because on July 18, 2017, Sally paid with her life,” Elam said. “She was murdered, shot in the head and left on the side of the road for [a passer-by] to find the next morning.”
Shaw’s body, with a gunshot wound to the head, was found at the intersection of Routes 9 and 193 in Cherryfield.
Eyewitness Quaneysha Greeley testified on Sept. 29. She is a co-defendant in the murder case. However, Greeley’s murder charge is expected to be dismissed in exchange for her testimony, according to her defense attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth. Greeley has pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking and one count of hindering apprehension, both of which are felonies.
Greeley and Reeves were arrested by police in New York on July 23, 2017.
Greeley was held in custody in New York and Maine but was released on bail last year, according to Toothaker.
The young woman testified that she rode along with Reeves and Shaw, who were selling crack cocaine and heroin, on numerous trips from Bangor to New York and back again.
“How much crack was being sold every few days?,” asked Elam.
“A lot,” Greeley replied. “Probably $20,000 to $30,000 at the most probably.”
The pair, Reeves and Shaw, were “cooking” cocaine into crack at the house of someone named “Tony” on Union Street in Bangor, Greeley testified.
Greeley testified about witnessing Shaw’s murder and laid out the events leading up to the murder and what occurred after.
The three had been in Machias to deliver drugs. The group had been drinking Hennessy. Greeley testified that she, Reeves, and Shaw had headed back to Bangor. But Shaw was too intoxicated to drive so Reeves drove. This made Reeves angry because he didn’t have a driver’s license. Also, Greeley testified, Shaw insulted the mother of Reeves’ children. Shaw had written an insult of the woman on a fogged-up window of the rental car.
That angered Reeves, who struck Shaw, pulled her from the back seat into the front seat, struck her with a handgun, dragged her to the side of the road and shot her in the head, according to Greeley’s testimony.
After the shooting, Reeves and Greeley left in the car, which crashed not long after. The pair walked to a nearby motel and knocked on doors looking for rides to Bangor. That was fruitless but eventually, Robert King, a Maine Department of Public Safety dispatcher, came across the pair along the road and agreed to drive them to Bangor.
Lipman & Katz Defense Attorney Stephen C. Smith defended Reeves with Bangor attorney Peter Baldacci.
Smith questioned the veracity of Greeley’s testimony considering she had made a deal with the state.
“You don’t have to be a lawyer for this one,” Smith said.
“She has three kids, she’s already lost one,” he said. “So, she’s facing losing her newborn infant. She’s facing a murder charge. She’s telling you what she wants you to hear. She was Sally Shaw’s rival in love or at least sex and she was Sally Shaw’s successor.”
“She’s had a lot of time to think about her position,” Smith said. “She’s had a lot of time to think about how to play this.”
The defense attorney also questioned Greeley’s actions after Shaw’s murder.
“She just watched a brutal murder as she told it,” Smith said. “And she’s ordering alfredo from Domino’s. Imagine that.”
Smith told the jury that there were evidence and testimony in the case that didn’t make sense. The defense attorney cited evidence of another man’s DNA on a shell casing. He also said Greeley’s testimony that Reeves pulled Shaw, a 170-pound woman, from the back seat to the front seat by her hair, by himself, was not plausible.
There is no sentencing date for Reeves yet.
However, once Reeves is sentenced on the murder charge, he will be returned to the state of New York to first serve a prison sentence for two first-degree assault convictions, according to the attorney general’s office.
“Upon completion of the New York sentence, he will be returned to complete his Maine sentence,” said Maine Attorney General spokesman Marc Malon. “He is here under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers.”
Justice Harold Stewart presided over the trial, which was the first one to be held in Penobscot County since the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone was masked, including the judge, attorneys, jurors, defendant and witnesses.
Family and friends of Shaw and members of the media watched the proceedings on screens in a conference room.