Wednesday, 31 January 2018 17:16

Day 8: Fournier murder trial Featured

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BANGOR - Wednesday marked the eighth day of the murder trial of a 57-year-old East Millinocket man charged with a 1980 murder that left a 16-year-old girl dead.

Every day of this trial, Phillip Scott Fournier, dressed in a gray suit, shuffles to the defendant's table because his feet are shackled.


Wednesday morning, Fournier sat at that table listening as a neuro-psychologist described how the accused murderer  was affected by a severe traumatic brain injury.


The testimony of Robert Riley was the cornerstone of the defense based on the opening statement given by Fournier's attorney. The defense attorneys claim a brain injury caused Fournier to develop adopted memories. They said that's why his numerous confessions are disjointed and inconsistent.


On cross examination, the prosecution got the doctor to agree that parts of Fournier's confessions contained facts which hadn't been released publicly at the time.


Fournier sustained the traumatic brain injury in the early morning hours of the Saturday after murder victim Joyce McLain went missing. He received the injuries after crashing a stolen fuel truck. That accident left him in a coma for eight days.


The doctor testified brain injury victims often create adopted memories to fill gaps in their memories. Riley conducted memory tests on Fournier last September at the Cumberland County Jail.


The Augusta-based doctor testified Fournier's psychological and emotional health would "Give me some pause in considering the accuracy of the statements."


However, the prosecutor brought Riley's attention to reports from other doctors citing Fournier's steady improvement.


TJ Tremble

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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.