Tuesday, 23 January 2018 16:44

Witness in murder trial testified to clear his name Featured

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BANGOR -  Tuesday, the state continued building its case against an East Millinocket man charged with a 1980 murder.

That murder rocked the small northern Penobcot County town in August of that year. And for the past 37-plus years, rumors have been flying about who might have killed the popular teen.

 

Wednesday was day three of the murder trial of Phillip Scott Fournier, charged with killing 16-year-old Joyce McLain in 1980. And, Wednesday morning, court started later than scheduled to allow a witness to consult an attorney about his fifth amendment rights. The witness, Grant Boynton, talked to an attorney at the direction of Superior Court Judge Ann Murray, who was concerned the defense was treading dangerously close to asking him questions that could incriminate him. Rather than plead the fifth, Boynton chose to testify. During a lengthy cross examination, defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein brought out the fact, when Fournier was interviewed by police, Fournier pointed detectives toward Boynton. The attorney for the accused murderer was trying to show the judge Boynton had a motive for testifying against Fournier.

 

At one point during his testimony, Boynton was asked by Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zanea why he wanted to testify.Boynton said, "I wanted to come and clear my name. And tell the truth."

 

Plus, Boynton denied being behind the town's high school the night in August 1980 when Joyce McLain was believed to have been murdered.

 

Also, another example of how police procedures in the the early 1980s were less exact than might have been expected was highlighted by one afternoon witness. Lorrie Pelkey Nadeau testified that in 1983 she gave police a written statement she saw Fournier running near the high school the night of the murder. She wasn't contacted for an interview by police until 30 years later. Fournier was charged with the murder almost two years ago.

 

TJ Tremble

Reporter
tjtremble@wvii.com

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 three grandchildren.