AUGUSTA — Justin E. Pillsbury will face trial in March 2016 on a charge of murdering his girlfriend, Jillian Jones, in the apartment they shared in Augusta.

Pillsbury, 40, has been held in jail since his Nov. 15, 2013, release from the hospital, where he was treated for apparently self-inflicted wounds to his neck, two days after Jones was found stabbed to death. Pillsbury has pleaded not guilty.

Justice Michaela Murphy scheduled the case for trial in March 2016 after a brief conference with attorneys this week at the Capital Judicial Center.

Pillsbury is represented by attorney Stephen C. Smith. The prosecutor is Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman.

Pillsbury was not brought over from the jail for the conference.

Pillsbury was indicted Jan. 22, 2014, on a charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder, described as three alternative forms of the same crime. A conviction carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of release.

Pillsbury is accused of fatally stabbing Jones, 24, who was originally from Bingham and who was attending beauty school in Waterville at the time of her death.

In September 2014, Pillsbury sought to suppress statements he had made to detectives who interviewed him in his hospital bed while he was recovering, saying he was too sedated and wasn’t advised properly of his rights.

Murphy denied that motion in a written order in December 2014, concluding that “the court finds from the taped interview that the defendant, while emotional from time to time, had sufficient control of his faculties and thought processes such that he was capable of waiving these rights.”

When police and other emergency responders arrived at the Crosby Street apartment on the night of Nov. 13, 2013, they found Jones dead in the bathroom and Pillsbury unconscious with stab wounds in his neck. A third roommate, Michael St. Pierre, called 911, telling dispatchers that it appeared two people were dead.

“There’s blood all over my apartment everywhere,” he said in the transcript of the call.

St. Pierre later told police he had been out earlier that night and discovered the grisly scene when he returned.

An affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tremblay says Pillsbury told St. Pierre he had caught Jones talking on the phone to another man and was jealous.

Another neighbor reported hearing arguing and Jones screaming that evening, according to Tremblay’s affidavit.

At a memorial service for Jones in November 2013 in Bingham, family and friends remembered her as a sweet, loving person.

“She was a beautiful soul, a caring, loving and nonjudgmental person,” said Brittney Kirk, of North Anson. “We used to say we were sisters always and forever, and if we were writing it, we would sign ‘xxoo’ at the end.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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