Easton man accused of killing his stepfather shouts at witness during testimony

The morning of day three in the trial began with an outburst from the accused. Matthew Clark, a friend and current inmate in the Aroostook County Jail testified that Peaslee told him about the murder. He said Peaslee told him he had committed the murder and that he wasn't worried because he was going to be able to beat it at court. Clark testified that Peaslee told him he went to the Mars hill store, left there, changed his clothes before going to his step fathers where he said Peaslee told him he went into quote "military mode" Clark told the court he heard Peaslee knocked on the door and shot him..he said Peaslee told him quote "He turned and ran. You should have seen that ol bastard run."

James Peaslee then stood up in court and shouted, quote "Stop lying! It's ignorant". Judge Harold Stewart called for a recess.

Once court resumed, defense attorney Stephen Smith asked the judge for a mistrial stating Peaslee had an involuntary outburst and that was prejudice to the jury. The state said there was nothing about Clark's testimony that was unexpected and that Peaslee was aware of what he was going to say on the stand.

The Judge denied the mistrial.

Testimony continued from Clarke and he told the court Peaslee said he changed back into the clothes he had on at the convenience store so he would have an alibi. Peaslee allegedly told Clarke he tried to make it look like his brother had done it.

During cross examination the defense asked Clark if he was providing info to authorities in hopes of getting the lightest sentence. He responded and said nothing was promised out of this.

The state rested its case just before the court broke for lunch.

The defense called two witnesses.

Patti Crooks who is the general manager at the Aroostook Centre Mall testified that she knew James for the past 20-21 years. She said he's done work for her and she's hired him a few times at the mall to do maintained. When shown the Surveillance video she was asked by the defense "do you think that's James Peaslee" she answered quote "i do not think so".

Walter Dewitt, James Peaslee's Father also took the stand. He was shown the surveillance video of the shooting and said the face doesn't look like James' and that the person in the video doesn't look big enough. He testified that James visited him on the night of January 17th at his home in Monticello. However the debate on the time differed from his original statement to what he told the court. He testified that James visited around 5:40pm. The court later heard a recorded copy of one of the interviews Walter had with Maine state police and he can he heard saying James got there at 6:40 and left at 10 after 7.

The time stamp on the video of the shooting was at 5:19 but the court heard that time was 23 minutes slow which would put it at 5:42.

The jury was told they would hear instructions and closing arguments beginning at 9am on Tuesday morning.

Ashley Blackford News Source 8