The Jackson man accused of killing a 31-year-old Florida man will be held without bail until further notice.

That decision, which was handed down by Justice Robert Murray Thursday afternoon, came as the result of a bail hearing that was held for 24-year-old Daniel Porter at Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast.

Porter is accused of killing Jerry Perdomo, whose body was found in the woods off Dahlia Farm Road in Newburgh Feb. 29.

Porter made his initial court appearance March 2, at which time many of his relatives and friends turned out to lend support. The group told Porter they loved him on a couple of occasions before and after his arraignment, and he responded with similar sentiments.

Prior to the start of Thursday’s hearing, court security staff made it clear that that kind of candid conversation was not going to be tolerated.

Court security officer Mike Dudley told the hallway full of people that any attempted conversation with the defendant, or any other kind of outbursts inside the courtroom, would be cause to remove someone from the proceedings.

“Anyone who speaks out in the courtroom will be removed,” said Dudley. “… There will be no contact with the person in custody.”

Several uniformed police officers were observed standing outside both ends of the courthouse prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s hearing.

Porter, who was wearing a gray jail-issued uniform, handcuffs, leg shackles and a bulletproof vest, whispered something inaudible to his supporters upon entering the courtroom. He then nodded and smiled to a handful of people in the front of the gallery before taking his seat next to his lawyer, Jeffrey Silverstein.

In the benches behind the prosecutor’s table, Perdomo’s wife Tonya was seated beside two women who appeared to be supporting her throughout the hearing.

As the nearly two-hour hearing got underway, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea argued that based on information provided in an affidavit from Maine State Police Detective Darryl Peary, Porter should be held without bail.

Zainea asserted that there was enough information available to the state to suggest that “a formal capital offense has been committed” and that there was also enough evidence to demonstrate that the 24-year-old defendant is a flight risk, may not appear for court proceedings and poses a danger to the community.

“This defendant fled the state of Maine,” said Zainea, referring to the trip to Connecticut that police have said Porter made with his girlfriend, Cheyenne Nowak, after the two reportedly traded in Nowak’s vehicle and allegedly paid $7,400 in cash for a new car in the days prior to his arrest. “… The state requests that this defendant not be released on bail, and that he be held without bail.”

Zainea suggested that arrangement remain in place pending Porter’s trial.

Zainea submitted Peary’s affidavit as the state’s lone exhibit and indicated the prosecution would not be calling any witnesses for the hearing.

Silverstein called Maine State Police Detective Brian Strout, the lead investigator in the case, to the witness stand.

While answering Silverstein’s questions about the days leading up to Porter’s arrest, Strout said Bangor police initially became involved Feb. 19, after receiving a missing person report from Lisa Gould of Bangor. Gould, said Strout, indicated that she had a romantic relationship with Perdomo and that she had not seen him since Feb. 16.

Silverstein asked the detective if Gould told police why Perdomo was in Maine and how often he came to the Pine Tree State.

“She indicated he’s been coming up here approximately once a month… probably for the last 10 months,” said Strout.

“Did she indicate any reason for his visits up here?” asked Silverstein.

Strout said Gould indicated to police that Perdomo was shuttling upward of 1,500 prescription pills a month from his home state to Maine each month.

At one point Silverstein asked if Strout knew of any aliases Perdomo may have used, or if he knew whether Florida law enforcement was investigating Perdomo’s alleged activities, but Strout said he did not know the answer to either of those questions.

“In regards to Ms. Lisa Gould, did she indicate that she was aware of a relationship between Mr. Perdomo and Mr. Porter?” asked Silverstein.

“That they were in business together,” said Strout, who added that the nature of that business was selling prescription pills.

Strout said Gould also told police that Perdomo had indicated someone owed him money but he never said who, and that when Gould last saw Perdomo Feb. 16, he had a .45-caliber handgun with him.

“He was going to go meet someone in regards to the business, and money that was owed to him,” said Strout.

Strout later testified that Porter and Nowak each had relatives in the region of Milford, Conn. and that the first time any police officer made contact with Porter was when authorities in the neighboring town of Orange, Conn. located the couple at a hotel.

Silverstein asked if the Maine State Police had asked Connecticut officers to detain or question Porter and Nowak, and Strout said Connecticut police were asked “to locate them for us.”

Strout said neither Porter nor Nowak was under arrest at that time, and that Maine State Police never instructed Connecticut authorities to detain either of them. Porter himself, said Strout, requested to be taken to the Orange Police Department while police were speaking with Nowak, and officers there took him to the station at his request.

Later in the hearing, Silverstein asked the detective if Perdomo ever revealed his reasons for coming to Maine to friends and family in Florida.

“He had stated he’d helped someone move previously and that person owed him money,” said Strout, noting that information came from Perdomo’s wife. Upon further questioning from Silverstein, Strout said none of the people police spoke with in Maine indicated that assisting with a move was why Perdomo was allegedly owed approximately $3,000.

Strout also testified that Nowak told police she met Perdomo at the Dysart’s in Hermon at Porter’s request, and that Perdomo followed her to the Hadley Mill Road home in Jackson to meet Porter. After a few minutes, Strout said Nowak left to go pick up her 2-year-old son in Swanville.

“Jerry and Mr. Porter were getting along fine,” said Strout, recalling Nowak’s description of the demeanor of the two men. “They were playing pool together; she didn’t indicate [that there were] any problems.”

But Silverstein and Zainea both indicated, through their questioning, that Porter had claimed Perdomo made threatening statements while the duo were playing pool.

When Zainea asked Strout to detail the nature of those threats, Strout said Porter alleged that Perdomo threatened to “bend Cheyenne [Nowak] over the pool table, rape her and take $500 out of what he owed him.”

When Silverstein asked Strout if Porter indicated that Perdomo also made threatening statements about Nowak’s child, the detective said that was correct.

Strout also testified about the hours that led up to Daniel Porter’s arrest on Feb. 28, and Silverstein made a point to note that the second time police located his client was in Maine at his grandmother’s home on Dahlia Farm Road in Monroe, four days after police had initially found him and Nowak in Connecticut.

That, said Strout, is when he first encountered Daniel Porter’s father, Gary Porter, who had just returned from a trip to California. Gary Porter, said Strout, led Strout to his son so the detective could speak with him.

“[Daniel Porter] advised that he had an attorney and that he was invoking his rights,” said Strout, adding that he left the home and returned to his own vehicle.

About 20 minutes later, Strout said, the younger Porter emerged from the home and indicated he wanted the detective to follow a vehicle that was in the driveway that was being driven by Gary Porter and also carried Daniel Porter’s uncle. The Porters led the detective to a store in East Dixmont, at which time Strout said Gary Porter and the other man entered the store while Daniel Porter climbed into Strout’s vehicle.

From there, the elder Porters led Strout and Daniel Porter to the Hadley Mill Road residence in Jackson. After spending some time at the residence, Strout said he received word that an arrest warrant had been issued for Daniel Porter.

While Silverstein’s questioning was lengthy, Zainea’s inquiries were succinct.

“What was the cause of death?” asked the prosecutor.

“Gunshot wound to the head,” Strout said. The bullet entered Perdomo’s head on the right side and exited through the left side, according to the detective.

Regarding the alleged threat that Daniel Porter claimed Perdomo made involving Nowak, Zainea asked Strout if Daniel Porter indicated where Nowak was at the time Perdomo reportedly made the comments.

“She was outside in her car,” said Strout.

Zainea then asked how many guns were located in the Jackson home, and Strout said he was unsure of the exact number but that he knew police removed rifles, shotguns and at least two handguns.

“And the gun that was used to kill Mr. Perdomo, was that gun found in the house?” asked Zainea.

Strout said that firearm was turned over to himself and another detective by Gary Porter. That, according to Strout, was after Daniel Porter told police he didn’t feel it was “in his best interest” to tell police the location of the gun or where Perdomo’s body was.

“He was adamant and repeating the numbers 30 to 15,” said Strout. “I believe he was indicating years, possibly.”

Zainea asked Strout if he thought Daniel Porter was withholding the information about the weapon and the whereabouts of Perdomo’s body in an effort to ensure a shorter prison sentence if he were convicted in connection with Perdomo’s death. Strout said he wasn’t sure if that was the case.

“He just kept repeating the 30 to 15 timeframe,” said Strout.

Zainea asked Strout if it was true that Daniel Porter told Orange police he went to Connecticut to visit relatives “for the last time as a free man,” and Strout confirmed that information.

Zainea then asked if the rental vehicle Perdomo was driving when he arrived in Maine was abandoned at the Bangor Walmart by Daniel Porter.

“Yes,” said the detective.

Strout also reaffirmed that it was Daniel Porter who allegedly disposed of a plastic bag at a nearby Hannaford Dumpster, a bag that reportedly contained items belonging to Perdomo including cell phones and keys to the Florida man’s rental vehicle. That information was initially revealed in the affidavit filed in connection with Daniel Porter’s arrest.

With regard to the location of Perdomo’s body, Strout said it was found about a half a mile into the woods, and that Perdomo’s remains were wrapped in blue tarps.

“It was not in an open space where the body could easily be found?” asked Zainea.

“That’s correct,” said Strout, who later testified it was Gary Porter who led police to Perdomo’s body.

Zainea also asked Strout about some $7,400 in cash that Daniel Porter reportedly gave to Nowak for use toward the purchase of a new vehicle, cash that Strout said came from Daniel Porter’s mother in Connecticut.

While Zainea argued that Daniel Porter be held without bail, Silverstein suggested his client be assigned a bail amount of between $100,000 and $150,000, and also be subject to conditions barring him from leaving the community, using alcohol and drugs, or possessing firearms.

Silverstein noted that Daniel Porter has no prior criminal record, and that the 24-year-old has no history of violence or threatening behavior.

While Zainea acknowledged Daniel Porter’s lack of criminal history, she disputed Silverstein’s claim that he poses no threat to society.

“This defendant is charged with murder,” she said. “… And one can argue that he is a flight risk; he’s already left the state once.”

Zainea argued that because Daniel Porter is now aware of the kind of evidence the state has against him, he is even more of a flight risk.

The prosecutor also expressed skepticism at Daniel Porter’s apparent claim that he killed Perdomo in defense of his girlfriend and her child.

“The threats weren’t directed toward him; they were directed at his girlfriend, if these threats were even made,” she said.

Justice Murray explained that if the court concurred with the state on any of the issues presented during the hearing, that concurrence would “extinguish the defendant’s rights to have bail.”

Justice Murray said while he did not feel the state met its burden of proof on every issue, he was convinced that “bail should not be issued in this case at this time.”

Justice Murray said he based his decision on the fact that Daniel Porter’s initial reaction was to “purchase a vehicle promptly and leave the state” and “the fact that it was done prior to his knowledge of the state’s evidence.”

“Bail, under these circumstances, is not warranted,” he said.

Outside the courthouse following the hearing, Daniel Porter’s friends and relatives donned yellow T-shirts that stated “We support our right to protect our families.”