AUGUSTA — The man who shared an apartment with Justin Pillsbury and Jillian Jones told jurors Tuesday he came home one night in November 2013 to find Pillsbury injured and Jones unresponsive on the bathroom floor.

Michael St. Pierre took the stand Tuesday, the second day of Pillsbury’s murder trial, who is accused of stabbing Jones to death Nov. 13, 2013.

While testifying at the Capital Judicial Center, St. Pierre said a “nervous” Pillsbury greeted him in the entryway and asked St. Pierre to get him a cigarette. He went and found a cigarette butt from an ashtray outside another apartment.

“I saw splotches of blood on the floor,” St. Pierre testified. “He was bleeding. He had a towel wrapped around his hand.”

St. Pierre said Pillsbury told him he was trying to kill himself, and St. Pierre saw Jones’ body “in a fetal position” on the bathroom floor.

“I went immediately down to see if there was a pulse,” St Pierre said. He found none.


He asked Pillsbury what happened.

“All I can remember is he said he blacked out,” St. Pierre said. “She was on the phone with somebody, a guy or something.”

St. Pierre was given immunity from prosecution by the state prior to testifying that he sharpened a knife for Pillsbury, in an apparent attempt to help him commit suicide. Aiding or soliciting suicide is a class D crime in Maine, subject to a penalty of up to 364 days in jail.

Justice Michaela Murphy granted the state’s motion to compel the testimony and ordered St. Pierre to answer all questions put to him that day. Her instructions and the discussion of immunity were done while the jury was out of the courtroom.

Pillsbury’s attorneys say Pillsbury acted in self-defense and killed Jones, 24, after she came at him with a knife in St. Pierre’s apartment at 32 Crosby St. in Augusta. Evidence collectors found four bloodied knives, with Pillsbury’s DNA on three and a mixture of his and her DNA on the fourth. The state’s former medical examiner, Dr. Margaret Greenwald, testified Monday that Jones had been stabbed 12 times.

Prosecutors say Pillsbury, 41, was jealous and killed Jones after the couple argued about Jones’ communicating with another man on her cellphone.


Jones’ body was found on the floor in the apartment’s bathroom. Rescue personnel found Pillsbury face down on the floor of the kitchen area with blood coloring the floor and lower parts of the cabinets and walls.

St. Pierre testified that Pillsbury told him that he would not harm St. Pierre or St. Pierre’s cat, but that Pillsbury kept pounding a steak knife into his own neck.

St. Pierre said the end of the knife had a rounded tip, so St. Pierre helped.

“I gave him a butcher knife,” St. Pierre testified. “He tried to sharpen it, but he couldn’t do it ’cause his finger was cut. I offered assistance in sharpening it.”

Pillsbury also asked St. Pierre to find a song by a hip-hop band, “A Tribe Called Quest,” before St. Pierre left with the cat in a carrier.

St. Pierre said he found the song on the computer and then went to an apartment next door.


There, he and neighbors called 911. The call time was recorded at 8:03 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2013.

People living in neighboring apartments testified Tuesday that they had spent some time late that afternoon drinking alcohol with Pillsbury and Jones in St. Pierre’s apartment.

Neighbors Christine Spaulding and Rashaad Cook both testified about events earlier that evening.

Spaulding said that at one point she went to St. Pierre’s apartment looking for Cook since he had been gone longer than she expected while getting food from a food pantry in Gardiner.

“I saw a back being thrown up against the door window,” she said, adding that she could see because it separated the venetian blinds. She identified the person as Jones.

“I know Jill. I know her body type and I saw her hair,” Spaulding said.


When defense attorney Stephen Smith asked if she was drinking that day, she said she had five beers over the course of the evening.

She said she also heard arguing before returning to her apartment.

“I went back home because I didn’t want to get involved,” she said.

Cook testified that during the afternoon he had purchased a half gallon of tequila for himself and a fifth of 100-proof vodka for Pillsbury, who had given him money for it.

Cook said he had a couple of shots, some combination of tequila and vodka, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at St. Pierre’s while waiting for a ride to the food bank. Cook said he and Pillsbury were dancing and that Jones was sitting on the couch watching them.

He described Pillbury’s mood.


“I would say he was jovial,” he said. “I could tell he had a little something to drink.”

The judge on Tuesday rejected the state’s bid to have Joshua Newhall testify in front of the jury about a text he said he received from Jones on Nov. 13, 2013, telling him she had gone to Pillsbury’s to get her things because she was leaving him.

In testifying while the jury was out of the courtroom, Newhall said he and Jones had lived together before Jones became Pillsbury’s girlfriend and that Newhall and Jones had rekindled their relationship. Murphy ruled that the testimony might be able to come in later.

Another of the state’s witnesses, Brittany Kirk, of Cornville, testified that she was in Pillsbury’s apartment in Benton in July 2013, when Pillsbury accused Jones of cheating on him and shoved her into the couch. Kirk said Jones denied cheating on him.

“I saw the fight,” Kirk said in response to a question from one of the prosecutors, Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber.

She said she heard Jones yell, “Get off me. Get off me.”


Finally, she said, Pillsbury left the apartment and Jones came into another room to be with her.

Smith, a defense attorney, asked Kirk if she helped Jones to cheat on Pillsbury over a period of several months.

Kirk initially denied that, but then said she drove Jones, who did not have a driver’s license, to meet various men, but said not all the meetings were sexual encounters.

One of Pillsbury’s attorneys said in his opening statement that Pillsbury will testify in his own defense.

Kyle Ouellette, a Maine State trooper who specializes in analyzing cellphone records, testified Tuesday about the scores of calls and texts exchanged between Pillsbury and Jones and a number of other people in the four hours just prior to Jones’ death. Ouellette listed the phone numbers and the duration of the calls.

The trial is to resume Wednesday and jurors are expected to hear Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tremblay’s recorded interview of Pillsbury, which took place at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Pillsbury was taken there for treatment of the self-inflicted wounds to his throat.


He has been held in jail since he was discharged from the hospital.

The defense failed to keep those interviews out of the jury trial.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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