AUGUSTA — A DNA analyst told a jury Monday that murder defendant Justin Pillsbury’s blood was found smeared on the front door, the kitchen cabinets, the sink, the microwave, and part of the living room wall in the Augusta apartment where he is accused of killing his girlfriend, Jillian T. Jones.

Police also found Pillsbury’s blood on all but one of the four knives detectives seized from the Crosby Street residence.

Pillsbury, 41, of Augusta, went on trial Monday, accused of murdering Jones by stabbing her to death on the night of Nov. 13, 2013, in the apartment the couple shared with another man.

The jury in a courtroom on the second floor of the Capital Judicial Center heard and saw evidence in the state’s case against Pillsbury, who has pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder.

One of Pillsbury’s defense attorneys, Caleb Gannon, told jurors Pillsbury acted in self-defense after being stabbed three times by Jones. Gannon also said jurors would hear directly from Pillsbury about what happened that night.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber, began his opening statement by showing the jury a photo of Jones, who was 24 when she was killed.


Macomber said Pillsbury stabbed Jones 12 times after punching her in the head and slamming her against the sink. Macomber said she was stabbed in the back, but the fatal wounds were two in the neck.

Macomber said the motive was jealousy and that “a green-eyed monster was uncaged in that apartment.” Macomber said Pillsbury believed Jones had been communicating with another man on her cellphone, and Pillsbury took it from her following an evening of drinking.

“She grabbed a knife and said, ‘Give me my cellphone back,'” Macomber said.

Gannon showed jurors Jones’ knife, which he said was covered in Pillsbury’s blood.

“It was used to cut and stab Justin,” Gannon said. Then he showed Pillsbury’s knife, which was also seized.

Macomber rejected the self-defense theory, saying Jones was “a foot shorter and almost 100 pounds lighter” than Pillsbury.


The first witness, Augusta Police Sgt. Vicente Morris, testified while the jury viewed a video which showed a large smear of blood on the floor near the door with Pillsbury face down near the kitchen sink and blood on the soles of his bare feet. Augusta paramedic/firefighters rushed him to MaineGeneral Medical Center where he was treated for his neck wounds.

Police have said Pillsbury killed Jones in the Augusta apartment they shared and then tried to kill himself by stabbing himself in the neck. At his first court hearing in November 2013, his neck was bandaged.

Jones, a native of Bingham, was attending beauty school in Waterville at the time of her death.

On Monday, about 10 family and friends of Jones watched the morning session from the back rows of the courtroom, moving to the front rows later in the morning.

Maine State Police Detective Scott Bryant testified that he used an “immersive imaging” camera to take 360-degree views of the scene and then went on to describe those, plus other still photos taken by fellow officers inside the apartment.

The inside of the front door was spattered with blood, as were the walls, appliances, a knife in the sink, a knife beside the sink, a knife on the floor near a trash can and a knife not far from where Jones’ body lay face up on the floor of the bathroom.


Jones, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was barefoot as well, with blood on her feet. In the image, she is wearing a white shirt and black sweat pants, and her right hand rests across her abdomen. Her right hip is near a long black-handled knife.

Jones’ blood, testified DNA analyst Catharine MacMillan, was found on swabs taken from the bathroom wall between the sink and the toilet and on the bedroom carpet and in two of three spots tested on the white blanket that covered the bed in the bedroom.

Tests of blood found on a bent, butcher-type knife that investigators found in the kitchen sink showed DNA profiles from both Pillsbury and Jones, MacMillan testified.

In one photo, the knife lies on the left side of the stainless steel double sink near a couple of white dinner plates, a utensil and a bottle of liquid dish detergent.

Alison Gingras, a forensic chemist at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory, testified that the blade was bent at about a 90-degree angle.

All four knives boxed separately and wrapped separately in clear plastic evidence bags were shown to jurors Monday as was an orange quilted purse that was sitting on the blue countertop in the bathroom in one of the images.


The bags of evidence were piled on top of a table at the front of the courtroom just below Justice Michaela Murphy’s seat.

Dr. Margaret Greenwald, the state’s former chief medical examiner who saw Jones’ body at the scene and conducted the autopsy the following day, used three different pages of diagrams in describing each of the 12 knife wounds in Jones’ body.

They were deep stab wounds, including one that pierced vital blood vessels as it went through Jones’ neck and more superficial ones in her scalp and back.

Greenwald said toxicology tests showed caffeine, marijuana, an antihistamine and an amphetamine were present in Jones’ system as well as a blood alcohol content of 0.13. In Maine, the legal limit for driving is 0.08.

Greenwald also described the wounds suffered by Justin Pillsbury, which were shown to jurors in large, foam-backed printed photographs.

She said it showed a “sharp force injury” on the index finger of his left hand and told defense attorney Stephen Smith that it could be consistent with a defensive wound. Greenwald also said another injury on Pillsbury’s left eyebrow could have bled into his eye and could have interfered with vision.


Augusta Paramedic/EMT and firefighter Aldebert Hume, who was among those treating Pillsbury at the apartment and in the ambulance, testified that Pillsbury had no pulse when emergency responders found him.

“He was close to dying,” Hume testified. Then, as Pillsbury started to regain consciousness in the ambulance, he told the paramedics to let him die “because I did it,” Hume said. He said Pillsbury said he stabbed his girlfriend and then stabbed himself.

The prosecution was to continue with its witnesses on Tuesday. Jurors were told to be at the courthouse by 9 a.m.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams


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