Inmate files complaint against murder suspect

By Juliette Laaka | Jan 24, 2014
Guy E. Hunnewell III is listed as a defendant in a civil case filed Jan. 10  by a fellow inmate who claims Hunnewell tired to kill him when he hit him in the head with a shovel. Hunnewell is also a defendant in an upcoming murder trial, accused of causing the death of inmate Alan Powell.

Portland — A Maine State Prison inmate filed a civil complaint in federal court Jan. 10 against the prison, a corrections officer, and a fellow inmate who is a defendant in a pending murder trial.

James Brensinger, 28, representing himself, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Portland seeking monetary relief for injuries caused by fellow prisoner Guy E. Hunnewell III. Hunnewell is also called Chip.

Brensinger wrote the claim in November.

Brensinger claims Hunnewell assaulted him and attempted to kill him nearly a year ago when he hit him in the head with a shovel. Brensinger is seeking $60,000 to relieve pain and suffering.

The plaintiff said he and Hunnewell were cleaning the floor when he was attacked, saying he did not know what happened until he woke up at Pen Bay Medical Center, and an officer told him he had been assaulted by Hunnewell. The last thing Brensinger said he remembered was Hunnewell saying he would put the shovel back into the closet.

In the complaint, Brensinger said he suffered a severe concussion, and sustained injuries requiring treatment with stitches and staples.

According to the complaint, a shovel was used to clean the floor by scraping around the doors to dislodge grim.

Hunnewell, 42, was indicted in July for the death of inmate Alan Powell. Powell, 57, died after being attacked by Hunnewell while in the exercise area at the prison, according to a press release from Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Hunnewell was also indicted for a single count of aggravated assault, for striking Brensinger with a shovel.

The Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed Powell's death was a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

Hunnewell pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity by video arraignment in Knox County Superior Court in August.

He is serving a 40-year sentence for stabbing his girlfriend to death in Fairfield in 1997, according to an earlier press release.

For the murder case, Hunnewell is represented by court appointed attorneys Philip Cohen and Jeremy Pratt. Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea is serving as the prosecution.

Hunnewell is scheduled to appear in court again in March.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at

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