Rachel Owens raised her left hand instead of her right when she was sworn in Wednesday to testify as a witness during the second day of the federal trial of her husband, Gregory Owens, who is accused of shooting her and another man in Saco.

Since the shooting inside her friends’ house on Hillview Avenue in Saco on Dec. 18, 2014, Rachel Owens said she has struggled to do simple tasks with her right hand, like opening an envelope or bottle.

“I need people to help me,” she said, while being questioned by a prosecutor in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Gregory Owens, her husband of 36 years, is accused of breaking into the home of Steve and Carol Chabot, where his wife had been visiting; shooting first his wife while she was in bed in one room and then shooting his friend Steve Chabot in another room while Carol Chabot hid in a third room.

Rachel Owens and Steve Chabot each were shot three times. Steve Chabot called 911 as he bled on his floor. Rachel Owens was in critical condition and not expected to survive when emergency workers arrived, according to police.

“I have a bullet in my head,” Rachel Owens told jurors at her husband’s trial.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee, then displayed a photo projected on a screen for the jury to see of the gunshot wound on the back of Rachel Owens’ skull that caused brain damage and where the bullet remains lodged.

The federal trial is the first of two cases that authorities have brought against Owens, 59, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, for the shootings and break-in.

Owens also faces multiple state charges, including aggravated attempted murder. His trial on those charges in York County Superior Court in Alfred has not been set and depends in part on the outcome of the federal trial, which is expected to take more than two weeks.

Owens is charged with two federal counts: interstate domestic violence, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, punishable by up to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Owens is a former Army marksman who investigators believe tried to kill his wife after his girlfriend in Wisconsin threatened to expose their affair.

Police investigating the shooting pulled over Gregory Owens about three hours after the 911 call as he was driving his Hyundai Santa Fe sport utility vehicle in Hudson, New Hampshire. Investigators later collected DNA evidence from Owens that matched DNA on the outside door of the Chabots’ garage. They also collected DNA evidence from bloodstains on the steering wheel and armrest of Owens’ vehicle, according to a report filed by FBI Agent Pamela Flick to obtain search warrants in the investigation.

Owens’ attorney, Sarah Churchill, denied the government’s allegations in her opening statement to the trial on Tuesday. She said Owens cut his hand on a broken glass in his kitchen in New Hampshire while working overnight on a business contract proposal and went out during the night in his vehicle to go to Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Greg Owens did not shoot his wife. Greg Owens did not shoot Steve Chabot. Greg Owens did not break into the Chabots’ home at 25 Hillview Drive,” Churchill said.

Churchill said the police timeline that says Owens drove in the night from Londonderry to Saco doesn’t make sense. She said it would have taken longer for Owens to have driven that far, that highway video footage shows no sign of Owens’ vehicle and that video footage from Dunkin’ Donuts in New Hampshire shows he was there.

Police never recovered the gun used in the shooting.

The trial is expected to continue through next week. McElwee has said she expects to call more than 30 witnesses. Churchill has indicated in court filings she expects to call about 10 witnesses, including her own DNA expert, who may draw different conclusions from the government’s experts.

This story will be updated.


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