The 42-year-old Owls Head man shot last summer on Matinicus Island testified March 8 that he froze after Vance Bunker fired the first shot near the head of the Owls Head man’s half-brother Weston Ames.

Then a moment later, Christopher Young said, he heard a second shot and fell to the ground.

Young’s testimony came in the trial of 68-year-old Edwin Vance Bunker and his 45-year-old daughter Janan Miller.

Bunker is on trial for two counts of elevated aggravated assault for shooting fellow lobsterman Young as well as for criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct. Miller is on trial for reckless conduct. Bunker is represented by attorney Philip Cohen of Waldoboro. Miller is represented by attorney William Avantaggio.

Young said before Bunker fired the shots he did not lunge at the older lobsterman. The shooting came after Miller had approached Ames and Young with a shotgun on Steamboat Wharf on Matinicus Harbor. Young testified that Ames tried to push the gun barrel away.

Young said he was stunned by Miller arriving at the dock with a shotgun and then froze when Bunker arrived and fired the first shot.

After the shooting, Young said, he couldn’t remember hearing or seeing anything other than a lot of commotion and Ames saying to Bunker, “You just shot my brother, you just killed my brother.” Young said his brother also put some type of clothing on the neck wound that he suffered from the shooting.

Young said he spent 18 days at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and continues to receive physical therapy. He said he has little use of the fingers in his left hand and has problems with his left arm. He said he is able to operate his lobsterboat but does not expect he can work like he did before the shooting.

The prosecution and defense attorney painted different perspectives March 8 on the shooting of the lobsterman on Matinicus last summer.

“This case is about the use, or rather the misuse, of a firearm and the misuse of a firearm by the two defendants,” District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said in his opening statements to jurors the morning of March 8 in Knox County Superior Court.

Cohen said, however, that his client felt he had no choice but to have his revolver and to fire it on the Steamboat Wharf last July 20 on Matinicus.

“He had a reasonable belief that he had to shoot to protect his family and protect himself,” Cohen said.

Under cross-examination by Avantaggio, Young acknowledged going aboard Bunker’s boat earlier that day to confront him about Young’s traps being cut. Young said he suspected Bunker but acknowledged he had no evidence to support the claim.

Young said after the two got “tangled up” aboard Bunker’s boat, Bunker went down in the cabin and returned with something behind his back. Young said he thought it was a gun, but it turned out to be pepper spray. Bunker sprayed him twice before Young left the boat.

Young also acknowledged that three to five days earlier he saw that numerous traps of Bunker’s son-in-law Alan Miller had been cut. He also acknowledged that the dispute between the parties had begun when Bunker tried to allow Miller to lobster off Matinicus.

“Yes, we don’t want any new lobstermen or anything new,” Young said.

He said even though state law says the ocean bottom is owned by all, individual lobstermen know they have the rights to certain areas, and he was going to protect his area.

There are 12 jurors for the trial with two alternates. A third alternate was dismissed last week once the 15 people were selected from a pool of about 130 after it was learned that the person had been involved in a court matter in which Cohen was involved. All but eight of the 130 potential jurors said they had heard about the case.

The trial is expected to last three days.

Rushlau said that Miller and Bunker introduced the weapons into an argument, and that both Young and his half-brother Weston Ames were unarmed when the incident occurred on the dock. Bunker fired the weapon at Ames’ head, barely missing him, before firing at Young’s head and hitting him in the neck, the prosecutor said.

Rushlau said there had been a confrontation the day before the shooting between Ames and Alan Miller, the husband of Janan Miller, in which Ames accused Miller of cutting about $20,000 worth of lobster traps. The next morning, Young found between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of his traps cut.

In neither argument did Ames or Young have a weapon, Rushlau said.

In the confrontation between Young and Bunker, Young went aboard Bunker’s boat and was charged with criminal trespass. Young pleaded guilty Feb. 22 to the criminal trespass and was fined $500.

Rushlau said a Maine Marine Patrol officer, Wesley Dean, went to the island the morning of July 20 in response to Bunker’s complaint about Young. Dean eventually went aboard Miller’s lobsterboat and then tried to be inconspicuous as it approached the wharf so he could hear if there were any threats being made. The prosecutor said Dean heard no threats.

Dean was the first and only witness during the morning session of the trial March 8.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Avantaggio, Dean acknowledged that he could not hear all the conversation on the wharf because he was near the engine of the boat and was a distance from the participants.

In his opening statements, Cohen said that in the altercation earlier on the day of the shooting, Young — who was much younger — had charged Bunker and put his hands around Bunker’s neck in an attempt to bring the older man down. Bunker was able to get Young off his boat only be using pepper spray twice, Cohen said.

Soon after that incident, Bunker received a call telling him that Young and Ames were chasing Miller in their boats at sea. He said he heard Young threatening Miller over the radio.

Bunker, who was now on land, said he was preparing to go back out to assist Miller when he saw Young and Ames threatening on the dock, and he went back to get his gun.

When Bunker went on the dock and around some traps be spotted his daughter struggling with Ames over a shotgun.

“What was he supposed to do; they [Young and Ames] had terrorized his family for the past 24 hours?” Cohen asked the jurors. “He had a reasonable belief he had no choice.”

Bunker fired once in the direction of Ames and then fired at Young as Young lunged at him, Cohen said.

Dean acknowledged he did not see the shooting but heard the cracking sound of the two shots being fired. Dean had climbed aboard the wharf as soon as he had seen Janan Miller with a shotgun but was not able to get there in time to stop the shooting. He ordered everybody to get down and took control of Bunker’s nine-shot revolver and the shotgun.

Dean said he did not recall whether the safety was on the shotgun after he seized that weapon.

The revolver and shotgun were introduced into evidence at the trial with Dean examining the weapons during his testimony.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is the presiding judge for the trial.

The courtroom was filled with spectators including a class of students. The public was screened at the doors of the courthouse before being allowed to enter. That screening has become more common during the past few months at the  Knox County building.