AUGUSTA — A city man’s trial on a charge of murdering his girlfriend, Jillian T. Jones, is about to begin some 28 months after she was found stabbed to death in their apartment.

A jury of 11 men and five women — which includes four alternates — was selected Thursday to hear the case against Justin Pillsbury, 41, who has pleaded not guilty to an indictment accusing him of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder, all alternative forms of the same crime, which occurred Nov. 13, 2013.

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 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. The trial is scheduled to start Monday at the Capital Judicial Center.

Investigators say Pillsbury tried to kill himself by stabbing himself in the neck shortly after he killed Jones.

Police interviews with neighbors and others indicated Pillsbury was jealous because Jones had talked to another man on the phone.


A third roommate, Michael St. Pierre, discovered the body of Jones, 24, in the Crosby Street apartment’s bathroom that night and called emergency responders. He said he thought two people were dead because of the amount of blood he saw, according to transcripts from that call.

Jones, who grew up in Bingham, was attending beauty school in Waterville at the time of her death.

At jury selection on Thursday, Pillsbury, in a blue dress shirt buttoned up to the throat and a dark suit jacket, sat between his attorneys, Stephen Smith and Caleb Gannon. The prosecutors are Assistant Attorneys General Donald Macomber and Meg Elam.

The two prosecutors sat with Maine State Police. Sgt. Christopher Tremblay, the lead detective in the case.

All six faced the jury pool of 180 people as the judge asked whether they knew the defendant or Jones or any of about 50 witnesses who might be called to testify during the trial, including numerous police officers.

Justice Michaela Murphy asked whether those relationships or other factors would interfere with their ability to judge the case fairly.


About a dozen people said they had some prior knowledge about the case. Two people said they knew Pillsbury, and one knew Jones.

Murphy also asked whether the members of the jury pool could fairly judge circumstances involving large amounts of alcohol and possibly some graphic photos. Several people indicated that would be a problem.

Before the oral questions in the courtroom, potential jurors filled out written questionnaires asking whether they fairly and impartially could decide a case involving people of a different race and accusations of domestic violence.

At a pretrial hearing in the case in September 2014, Pillsbury’s attorney sought to keep from the jury recordings of interviews Tremblay had with Pillsbury while he was a patient at MaineGeneral Medical Center.

The judge denied the defense motion to suppress those statements, and the trial was scheduled for this month.

On one recording played at that hearing, Pillsbury, in a hoarse voice, initially refuses to answer questions. The next day, when Tremblay visits again, Pillsbury tells Tremblay he killed his girlfriend.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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