Tuesday, 21 May 2019 19:35

Bar Harbor murder trial begins Featured

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ELLSWORTH - It was a tough day in the courtroom for two dozen family and friends of a Bar Harbor teen who police say was beaten, assaulted and killed a year ago by a friend and former classmate.

They learned from prosecutors that Maine State Police found video evidence.


“Among those surveillance videos, time-stamped at 7:05 a.m. they found a video,” Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam told the jury of six men and eight women. “In that video they saw the defendant Jalique Keene dragging Mikaela's lifeless body by her arms as her toes dragged behind him across the pavement.


“Her lifeless head flopped, her hair swayed and her body bounced as he dragged her along,” she said. “He dragged her towards an opening in the fence that surrounds the school.”


The prosecutor later added, “27 minutes later he's caught again by the surveillance cameras, when he comes back into view from the direction where he had dragged Mikaela's body.”


Keene then washed his hands, Elam said.


“Just minutes after washing off those remnants, he when to the home of Mikaela's mother and assured her that he would help find Mikaela,” she told the jurors inside Hancock County Superior Court.


The body of 19-year-old Bar Harbor resident Mikaela Conley was found on June 2, 2018 in a wooded area near the local elementary-middle school, a state police corporal testified at the rape and murder trial of Keene, a 22-year-old Bar Harbor resident and friend of the victim.


Keene is charged with physically and sexually assaulting and strangling Conley.


“He, Jalique Keene, left his DNA, and only his DNA was discovered under her fingernails and in her genitals,” Elam said.


The defense argued that another person committed the horrendous crime.


“Keep in mind they can't be sure that there was nobody else on this playground,” Dawn Corbett, attorney for Keene. “Someone could come into and off that playground without being seen on camera.”


Conley and Keene both attended Mount Desert Island High School where he was a high school football standout. The day before Conley died, she drove to Boston to pick up him and another friend, her mother and stepfather both testified.


They described Keene as "one of the kids" that hung around their daughter, and said he had even helped to cook Christmas cookies during the holidays.


Maine State Police dog handler Cpl. Michael Smith testified about how his K9 Winger found the teen's body near the intersection of Eden and West Street Extension.


The trial is expected to last three or four days.

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...

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