BANGOR — One of the three shots that killed Stephanie Gebo in her home in June 2015 probably was fired while the mother of two was already down on the floor of her bedroom in Parkman, bleeding from two other shots.

That was part of the testimony Wednesday from retired Chief Medical Examiner Margaret Greenwald in the trial of Robert Burton, 40, of Abbot, who is charged with Gebo’s murder.

Greenwald, who conducted the autopsy on Gebo’s remains on June 7, 2015, found gunshot wounds to the lungs, spinal area and trachea and determined the death was a homicide. She also found what might be considered a defense wound on Gebo’s hand and other cuts and bruises.

Using a life-size mannequin to show bullet trajectory and entry and exit wounds, Greenwald said that Gebo had been shot three times in the back. The bullets traveled through the woman’s body and exited, almost laterally, through the front of her body. The bullets traveled in a slight upward direction.

Under direct examination by Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber, Greenwald said a bullet that police found that was embedded in the wooden floor under Gebo’s body was consistent with a shot having been fired while she was on the floor.

“Each of the wounds would have potentially been fatal, but we don’t know the sequence or timing,” Greenwald said, “but all were shot within close time or around the same time.”


Greenwald said she also found bullet fragments in Gebo’s body during the autopsy, possibly accounting for the fact that four 9 mm shell casings were found by investigators, but only three bullets.

The prosecution team of Assistant Attorneys General Donald Macomber and John Alsop is attempting to paint a picture of Burton as an obsessive, jealous man who suspected his former girlfriend had been cheating on him when he murdered her in June 2015 in Parkman. Burton’s defense team of Zachary Brandmeir and Hunter Tzovarras is countering that Burton acted in self-defense after Gebo shot him with a handgun she kept within reach in her bedroom.

On Wednesday, prosecutors called to the witness stand Sgt. Darryl Peary, of the Maine State Police, who helped supervise the investigation of Gebo’s murder and described the 68-day search for Burton, saying the woods of Piscataquis County were “his home area.” Burton ultimately turned himself in, ending the longest manhunt in Maine history, which had local residents from Athens and Harmony to Guilford on edge.

Detective Jay Pelletier also testified Wednesday, noting that police received a tip and found Burton’s truck in the woods. Inside the truck were shirts with what appeared to be bullet holes and stains that appeared to be blood. That testimony supports the defense’s contention that Burton was invited to see Gebo and she shot him before the gun was turned on her and she was killed.

The trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor resumed Wednesday with one of the defense attorneys cross-examining a crime scene investigator on evidence presented the day before.

The jury of nine men and six women watched as defense attorney Brandmeir questioned a state police investigator, circling back on many of the points of evidence presented Tuesday, including photos of the interior of Stephanie Gebo’s Parkman home, her body and items found inside the house where she was shot and killed.


Brandmeir appeared to be attempting to establish reasonable doubt of earlier testimony and of the police investigation that led to Burton’s indictment for murder. He quoted from notes Burton allegedly wrote about what Gebo’s best friend said about her having been a “sex fiend” and “a whore.”

Brandmeir went into great detail, stopping on each item of evidence. Just before the noon break for lunch, prosecutor John Alsop questioned the relevance of some of the details, prompting a sidebar conference with Justice Robert Mullen, who is presiding over the trial. Brandmeir said he thought Alsop’s objection was insulting.

Burton was spotted several times during the summer of 2015 during the manhunt for him. A home monitoring camera caught him running through a Guilford camp around noon on July 6. Another person spotted Burton climbing into a canoe and rowing across a lake. He walked into the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft on Aug. 11, 2015, and surrendered peacefully, saying he didn’t want to get shot by police.

Burton is charged with murder in the shooting death of Gebo, then 37, in the Parkman home they once shared in Piscataquis County. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Gebo, a single mother of two, was shot to death with a pistol, according to police. She had broken up with Burton the previous weekend and was killed the day after Burton’s probation for a domestic violence conviction that had sent him to prison for 10 years ended.

Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin told WVII-TV in July 2015 that Burton had climbed in through the window. Goggin said Burton was wounded by Stephanie Gebo before he turned the gun on her.


“As he was climbing through the window that night, his would-be victim had a handgun and she shot at him,” Goggin said in the interview with the Bangor TV station. “He wasn’t armed at that time. She wounded him slightly, they got in a tussle over the gun, and he just lost it. He got the gun away from her and he shot her and he killed her.”

The gun has not been found.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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