FARMINGTON — The trial of a former Jay man charged with murder in the death of his longtime girlfriend entered its second day Tuesday with witnesses’ testifying about the defendant’s jealous behavior in the months leading up to the slaying at the home the couple shared.

James “Ted” Sweeney, 58, is accused of killing Wendy Douglass, 51, with a softball bat while she slept at the home at 5 Jewell St. in Jay on July 11, 2017. He has pleaded not criminally responsible by reason of insanity and waived a jury trial.

Sweeney, who is deaf, went to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on the morning of the killing and gave an officer a note asking police to check on Douglass because he “hurt” her.

Family members testified Tuesday before Justice William Stokes in Franklin County Superior Court that Sweeney used their vehicles to follow Douglass to try to see who she was seeing. Once he was seen in a parking lot wearing a hat, which was not normal for him, his daughter-in-law Michelle Libby said. She wiped away tears when she said Douglass was like a mother to her.

Witnesses said they tried to tell Sweeney that Douglass was not cheating on him, but he did not believe them.

Douglass, who was produce manager at the Food City in Livermore Falls, was described by witnesses as a wonderful, caring person and a dedicated member of the church she attended in Readfield.


Richard Hoyt, assistant manager at Food City, testified that he knew the couple. He said Sweeney visited Douglass at the store frequently. Sometimes they argued, he said.

Douglass at times told Sweeney to leave because she was working, but Sweeney would come back with coffee or flowers or other items, Hoyt said.

When the couple were fighting, Hoyt said. He asked Douglass if she wanted him to walk her to her car, but she always said she was fine.

Also taking the witness stand Tuesday were investigators who found Douglass’ body.

A body-cam video by Jay police officer Dylan Rider showed police entering the house by breaking a window. They checked the first floor and opened the door to a room that had cloth lying at the bottom blocking air flow, Rider testified.

When police opened the door and shined a flashlight on the bed, they found Douglass’ body.


Maine State Police Detective Lauren Edstrom said she and other evidence technicians found Douglass was on her back in a twin bed.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, according to a state police affidavit.

A black, wooden bat, believed to be the murder weapon, was found in the corner in a small bucket in the house near the front door behind what Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam said was a draft-stopper.

Edstrom testified there was red-brown staining on the bat.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday.

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