The first week of the federal trial of Gregory Owens ended Friday with jurors yet to hear the key evidence investigators used to charge him with trying to kill his wife and a family friend during a home invasion in Saco in 2014.

The government’s case against Owens in U.S. District Court in Portland hinges largely on DNA and blood evidence to show he broke into the Saco home his wife was visiting by smashing the windows of two doors to get inside and shoot Rachel Owens and one of the homeowners, Steve Chabot.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee told Judge Nancy Torresen at the end of the day Friday after the jury left that she expects to rest the government’s case by next Wednesday and outlined her plan for Monday to call more police and a forensic expert to testify.

Owens, 59, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, is accused of driving from New Hampshire to Maine during the early-morning hours of Dec. 18, 2014, and breaking into the Saco home of Steve and Carol Chabot. He allegedly shot his wife while she was in bed, and then shot Steve Chabot in another room, while Carol Chabot hid in a third room. Investigators believe Owens tried to kill his wife after his girlfriend in Wisconsin threatened to expose their affair.

Charles Lannan, a former Army Green Beret who owned the Special Forces training company where Owens worked at the time of the shooting, testified Friday that Owens never wore a wedding ring when he knew him and that he shared a hotel room with his girlfriend, Betsy Wandtke, during a trade show in 2014.

Lannan, who traveled from Florida to testify, told jurors how he met Owens and hired him as the chief executive officer of the startup company, Target Acquired, based on Owens’ experience in the Army for 24 years.

Lannan described an email from Owens sent several days after the shooting that alarmed him and a phone conference with Owens around New Year’s Day in 2015 that led Lannan to call a Saco police detective to report what he heard.

“Call to arms. Trust no one you don’t know. … Someone from my past has put a bullseye on me,” Owens wrote to the employees of Target Acquired on Dec. 21, 2014, in the email Lannan shared with police. Lannan said that in the subsequent phone conversation, Owens asked him to lie to police investigating the shooting to provide him with an alibi. Lannan told the jury that he told Owens he would consider lying, but then promptly called police instead.

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.

The federal trial is the first of two cases against Owens in connection with the Saco shootings and break-in.

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

Police investigating the shooting pulled over Owens about three hours after a 911 call as he was driving his Hyundai Santa Fe 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’ SUV and found wet boots in back, according to a report filed by FBI Agent Pamela Flick to obtain search warrants in the investigation.

Other witnesses who testified Friday included the manager of a convenience store in Hudson, where police obtained security camera footage that showed Owens in the store at 12:11 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2014 – before the shooting – and where police detained Owens for questioning around 5:30 a.m. after the shooting. The manager of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Londonderry, New Hampshire, also testified about security camera footage he gave to police that showed Owens in the coffee shop at 4:35 a.m. the same day.

Rachel Owens and Steve Chabot each were shot three times. Steve Chabot called 911 at 2:47 a.m. as he was bleeding on the floor of his bedroom closet. Rachel Owens was in critical condition and wasn’t expected to survive when emergency workers arrived, police said.

Owens’ attorney, Sarah Churchill, denied the government’s allegations in her opening statement 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 Ave.,” Churchill said.

She said the police timeline that asserts Owens drove in the night from Londonderry to Saco doesn’t make sense. She said it would have taken longer for Owens to drive that far and that highway video footage shows no sign of Owens’ vehicle.

Police never recovered the gun used in the shooting, but said it was a 9mm.


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