By Joshua Shea
The affidavit in the case against Agostino Samson, who was arrested in Windham on March 4 and charged in the murder of Raymond landscaper Scott Libby, was released by the Oxford County District Court judge who ordered it sealed following Samson’s arrest.
The affidavit, which serves as justification for a search warrant and arrest, was released Wednesday and details a bloody and violent altercation the night of Libby’s death in Bethel, including details of a potential murder weapon.
State Police Detective Herbert Leighton testified in the affidavit that on the night of Libby’s death, Libby, 25, told his mother that he was going to meet Samson in Bethel so he could collect $400 owed to him and that he was holding jewelry as collateral.
Samson, 23, who was staying with his grandparents in Windham when arrested, had been living at the Bethel Hostel and working at the Matterhorn Restaurant, near Sunday River Ski Resort, according to the document.
Libby’s body was found in his car following a collision with a train, and that accident was reported in a phone call to Bethel Fire and Rescue at 2:43 a.m. on Feb. 20 by one of the people on the train. An autopsy later in the day by the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Libby’s death was
“the result of asphyxia due to strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head. (The medical examiner) observed pictures of the decedent’s vehicle at the scene and determined his injuries were not consistent with the damage documented to the vehicle. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.”
The affidavit states that as police were attempting to locate Samson, he called Libby’s mother and told her that he had heard of the accident. She told police that Samson had cried “quite hard” during the telephone call.
Police caught up with Samson at the Bethel Hostel that night, less than one-quarter of a mile from the railroad tracks where Libby’s body was found.
Samson said he and Libby communicated by telephone the previous night and agreed to meet at the hostel after Samson got off work.
In the affidavit, Samson said he and Libby talked for around 40 minutes in the common area of the hostel without incident and the two would speak again about Samson working for Libby’s landscaping business in the spring, something he had done the previous year. Samson also said the money and jewelry were exchanged to complete the transaction.
While interviewing Samson, Detective Leighton stated in the document that he requested to photograph Samson
and observed contusions on his hand. Samson explained a box of puree fell on his hand at work, but in a later interview he told detectives that he had punched a refrigerator at his job.
Samson agreed to allow detectives to search his room at the hostel. One of the detectives observed a belt that appeared to have been damaged according to the affidavit. After a brief interview, Samson was read his Miranda rights, but waived them.
The trio left the room and other members of the State Police entered to gather evidence. Detective Bill Ross, the affidavit states, observed red-brown staining “which appeared to be blood on the outside door-knobs of both sets of main entry doors.” After letting Leighton and the other detective know, Samson was told of the discovery of the staining.
At this point, Samson said there was an altercation between he and Libby, and that after their business transaction took place, Libby made sexual advances toward him, so he punched Libby in the face, causing Libby’s nose to bleed.
Despite the bloody nose, Samson told police Libby continued to make sexual advances, including offering money. Libby finally left the hostel and as far as Samson knew, according to what he told police, got in his car and left. Samson said he then went to his room and went to bed, never venturing outside the hostel.
On Feb. 25, Libby’s car was examined at the State Police Crime Laboratory. A small, broken cast-iron skillet was recovered with red/brown stains present, according to the document released Wednesday. A DNA analysis showed the stain to be blood matching that of Libby.
During searches at the Bethel Hostel, a detective found another cast-iron pan. The hostel’s owner said two pans had recently “gone missing” according to the affidavit.
Samson was arrested without incident at his grandparents’ Windham home two weeks later and has remained in Oxford County Jail without bail since his initial court appearance. It is expected the case will go before the Grand Jury at some point in April.
Following his arrest in early March, The Independent spoke with Carina Brown, who attended high school with Samson and was on the track team with him.
Although she hasn’t seen him in some time, she said it’s hard to believe her teammate could have committed the crime he’s charged with.
“He was always kind, sincere and energetic,” recalled Brown.