Local men involved in Corinth homicideStabbing victim calls for stricter domestic violence laws
Corinth — Two local men were involved in a homicide that took place Sunday, Sept. 15, in Corinth.
Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a news release that Christopher Darner, 37, of Corinth, died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck,” following an autopsy Monday, Sept. 16.
Police said Darner entered the home of his estranged wife, Miranda Darner, 22, who had a protection from abuse order against Christopher, on Sunday armed with a box cutter. Prior to entering the residence, Christopher was able to see and hear what was going on in the home from a nearby cornfield where he was monitoring the residence using a baby monitor, police said.
When Christopher entered the home around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, he stabbed Kirt Damon Jr., 24, of Searsport, in the neck and stomach. Damon's friend, 21-year-old Zachary Joseph then put Christopher in a choke hold, McCausland said in the release.
Damon was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to be treated for his injuries, police said.
Neither Joseph nor Miranda Darner where injured during the altercation, police said.
No one has been charged in connection with the homicide and police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident. Police said they are considering self-defense and defense of a third person as a possible motive in the homicide.
On his Facebook page, Damon praised Joseph for his actions during the alleged confrontation.
"Thank you Zachery Joseph for saving my life last night... best wingman ever!" wrote Damon.
'If Zach wasn't there I wouldn't be here today'
Two days after being released from the Bangor hospital, Damon told The Republican Journal he was lucky to be alive.
For that outcome Damon credited Joseph, a man he said has been his best friend for the last six or seven years.
"If Zach wasn't there I wouldn't be here today," said Damon Tuesday morning, Sept. 17.
This week, Damon is recovering from the stab wounds he sustained during the confrontation police say he had with Miranda's estranged husband, an incident that occurred as Damon and Joseph were visiting with Miranda at her home last weekend.
Damon said it took 15 staples to close the wound on his stomach and 15 stitches to secure the wound he sustained to his throat.
"If it were an inch to the left or an inch to the right, this would be a dramatically different story," said Damon of the cut on his neck.
Damon said he and Joseph went to visit Miranda Darner at her Corinth home for the first time Saturday, as Damon said he knew her family, but had not met Miranda until that time. Damon said he first met Miranda on Facebook, and he brought Joseph along for the visit because he thought it would make the meeting less awkward if he had a friend with him.
"We were just having a lot of fun, listening to music on my iPod, and just talking," said Damon.
Damon said he knew Miranda had been married to Christopher for a couple of years and that she had since sought and obtained a protection order against her estranged husband, but said he was not overly concerned when Christopher called Miranda and issued death threats that day.
"People make threats when they're angry, but they don't always follow through," said Damon.
Damon said Miranda had received calls from at least two of Christopher's relatives stating they were concerned that Christopher was going to take his own life, and Damon said she called police in response.
Then Damon said the trio decided to "go back to having a good night."
They continued listening to music and talking until about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, when Damon said things took a turn for the worst.
Damon said he was standing at the kitchen table talking with Miranda when Christopher came through the back door and confronted him.
"I didn't have time to react," recalled Damon.
The two men engaged in a physical struggle, and at one point Damon said he grabbed Christopher by the throat and pushed him into a nearby closet door. That's when Damon said he realized Christopher was armed with a sharp object.
"I looked down and saw my stomach was cut bad," said Damon.
Damon said he moved forward in an attempt to hold Christopher down as he yelled to Joseph for help.
"I said, 'Zach I've been stabbed, help me,'" recalled Damon.
Damon as Joseph came over and grabbed Christopher by the throat in an attempt to restrain him, Damon was able to get the weapon away from his alleged attacker. Meanwhile, Damon discovered he had also been stabbed in the throat.
Christopher continued to struggle, Damon said, and Joseph kept saying he was getting tired.
"Zach was so strong; I kept telling him 'Zach you can't let go,'" said Damon.
Damon said he remembers Joseph took off his shirt and wrapped it around the wound on Damon's stomach, then pressed his hand to the cut Damon sustained on his neck.
"I felt like everything was in slow motion," said Damon. "... I remember Zach was crying, saying 'Kirt you're not going to die.'"
Miranda was in the room during the confrontation, but Damon said she was not hurt.
Damon said he hopes talking about what happened Sunday morning will help start a new conversation about a bigger issue he feels the state should address — laws designed to help victims of domestic violence.
In this case, Damon said, Miranda went through the proper channels in an attempt to protect herself by obtaining the order, but it wasn't enough to prevent Christopher from entering her home Sunday morning. Damon said he feels the penalties for those who willfully violate protection orders should be much harsher so situations like the one he witnessed would be less likely to occur.
"The law is not strict enough," said Damon. "He doesn't care about the law, it's just a piece of paper to him."
And as far as his friendship with Joseph, Damon said that bond is stronger than ever.
"He is my best friend in the world, especially now," said Damon.
Ben Holbrook contributed reporting to this story.