Friday, 02 February 2018 15:35

Defense rests in Fournier murder trial Featured

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Defense rests in Fournier murder trial

BANGOR - The murder trial of an East Millinocket man is expected to wrap up Monday.

57-year-old Phillip Scott Fournier is charged with murdering 16-year-old Joyce McLain in August 1980.

Defense attorneys for Fournier rested their case Friday morning.  The prosecution rested its case Tuesday.

Now the attorneys return to the courthouse Monday morning at nine o'clock where they'll present their closing arguments to Penobscot County Superior Court Judge Ann Murray.

There's no direct evidence tying Fournier to the murder, other than numerous confessions. And his lawyers say those confessions are tainted by Fournier's impaired memory. The memory damage was a result of a traumatic brain injury he

suffered the day after McLain went missing. As far as the state's case against Fournier, his attorney, Jeff Silverstein said, it doesn't make sense.

"One of the things they typically do is endeavor to present a case where all of the different components fit together and interlock. And here things don't fit together," Silverstein said during a brief interview Friday morning.

The prosecutor declined to comment on the trial Friday.

During the ten days of testimony, no murder weapon was identified. No eyewitnesses testified.

"So we think this coudn't have gone any better for the defense," said Silverstein.

It appeared as though the efficiency of police investigative methods from the early 1980s has also been on trial in this case. Record keeping, evidence handling, and interview techniques have been questioned by the defense throughout the trial.

After nearly 38 years, members of the victims family are hoping the outcome of this trial closes the book on this chapter of their lives.

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.