Wednesday, April 23, 2014
AUGUSTA — “My friend killed himself and killed his girlfriend.”
That’s what the caller, later identified at Michael St. Pierre, told the person answering the 911 call at the state Department of Public Safety Regional Communications Center in Augusta on Nov. 13, 2013.
“There’s blood all over my apartment everywhere,” he added.
When police and other emergency responders arrived at Apartment 6 at 32 Crosby St. in Augusta that night, they found Jillian Jones, 24, dead in the bathroom, and Justin Pillsbury, now 39, with stab wounds to his neck, apparently self-inflicted. The two were sharing an apartment with St. Pierre.
Pillsbury is being held without bail in the Kennebec County jail, and on Friday a grand jury indicted him on a charge of murder. The charge accuses him of three alternative forms of the same charge: intentional, knowing or depraved-indifference murder.
He will be arraigned on that charge in Kennebec County Superior Court. An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.
Through public records requests, the Kennebec Journal obtained the transcripts of the calls to the Regional Communications Center, operated by the state Department of Public Safety, and to the dispatch center at the Augusta Police Department.
It was 8:03 p.m. when St. Pierre placed his call from a neighboring apartment in the same building.
Half a minute later, a second person, identified in court documents as neighbor Rashaad Cook, called for help as well.
“It’s really a bad scene. Please send somebody right away.” Cook said he could see St. Pierre already was talking to an officer, so Cook hung up.
Then, about 8:05 p.m., St. Pierre’s call was transferred to a police dispatcher in Augusta, who had been briefed by the other officer and told St. Pierre, “I’m going to have to send some officers your way, OK?”
The transcripts of conversations between call-placers and call-takers are muddled with “yups,” “OKs” and references by St. Pierre to a cat, cans of tuna, and the need for a cigarette as well as an ambulance and the morgue.
Neighbors said they heard the couple fighting and a woman’s scream earlier that evening, but no one had reported it to police.
St. Pierre said he and two other friends had gone to a soup kitchen that night and when he returned, Pillsbury did not let him in the apartment immediately. When he finally did, St. Pierre said he saw blood everywhere. He told police he searched for but failed to find a pulse on Jones.
“Pillsbury told St. Pierre that he caught Jones talking to another man on the phone and didn’t like that and blacked out,” according to an affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Chris Tremblay, which was filed in the case in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Tremblay’s report also says Pillsbury told St. Pierre he “screwed up” and wanted to kill himself. St. Pierre said the knife Pillsbury used to try to kill himself was dull, so St. Pierre sharpened it for him, and Pillsbury tried again.
Dr. Margaret Greenwald, the state’s chief medical examiner, told police that Jones had three wounds – one above the left ear, one on the right side of the neck and one under the chin, according to Tremblay’s affidavit.
Pillsbury was arrested Nov. 15 upon his release from MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Pillsbury had been taken there for treatment of what police said were self-inflicted stab wounds.
Pillsbury is represented by attorneys James T. Lawley and Roger Katz.
“I’m glad that the indictment has finally happened so we can finally start to get discovery,” Lawley said Friday. “Once we’ve had a chance to do that, we might be in a position to talk more.”
He said they have been in contact with Pillsbury in jail. Lawley has said previously it appeared that drugs and alcohol were involved.Betty Adams — 621-5631 email@example.com Twitter: @betadams