ALFRED — A York County Superior Court jury found Patrick Dapolito guilty Thursday of murdering his wife, 30-year-old Kelly Winslow after less than three hours of deliberation.

The dozen men on the jury rejected the defense’s theory that Winslow was a casualty of a dispute between Dapolito and associates in his marijuana-trafficking business.

Over 12 days in York County Superior Court, they listened to contrasting characterizations of the couple’s relationship, accounts of alleged abuse and descriptions of their involvement in the drug trade. They also heard how Dapolito initially claimed that he had gone to sleep next to his wife while high on cocaine and holding a gun in his right hand. He had said he woke up when the gun accidentally discharged.

Winslow’s father, Jerry Winslow Jr., said he was confident Dapolito would be found guilty.

“I had a good feeling,” he said as he left the courtroom after the verdict Thursday. “Because he deserves to be gotten.”

Winslow had not been allowed in the courtroom before Thursday because of the possibility that he would be called as a witness. He never was called and ended up spending much of trial in his truck or in the hallway, where he had shown off a tattoo portrait of his daughter on his forearm.

The prosecution said that Dapolito’s defense attorney’s story of what happened the day Winslow died is “an evolution of a fabrication.”

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said Dapolito created an elaborate story related to his drug trafficking when he realized the state could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Winslow was shot intentionally.

Dapolito had participated in a reenactment for investigators and a specialist from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded that the shooting could not have happened as he described. The awkward angle of Winslow’s head showed force had been applied to it and the bullet’s trajectory indicated the shooter’s body was propped up off the floor, the specialist concluded.

After the jury returned its verdict, Marchese said that the state hasn’t yet decided on the recommended sentence but said that it would be substantial due to his admitted drug history and other factors.

Dapolito, 41, faces 25 years to life in prison.

During his closing argument Thursday morning, defense attorney David Van Dyke described how the shooting could have taken place on March 16, 2010. He composed a poem — “If that night in that/house someone be/Patrick Dapolito must go free” — to summarize the essence of what he believed happened the day of Winslow’s death. Van Dyke recited it and displayed on an easel to the jury.

Van Dyke noted that Dapolito and Winslow had been traveling, with no precise plans to return to Maine, when the basement of their Limington home flooded because of an unplugged sump pump. Van Dyke said someone could have caused the flood to force the couple home.

Van Dyke said that although he was disappointed in the verdict, he respected the jury’s efforts to evaluate “very conflicting evidence.”

“We are looking at all available remedies,” he said.


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