LEWISTON — Jack Tetreault knew his daughter Jane’s marriage to Brian Nichols was a rocky one, but he never thought it would kill her.
“Jane, she thought she knew him pretty well,” Tetreault said Tuesday afternoon. “She said he’d never take things too far. He takes things out on inanimate objects, and that’s been his pattern. He’d go home and ransack the house or go out and screw up the car. But he’s never been physically abusive.”
Nichols, 45, called police to his Turner home Saturday to confess to killing Jane, 38, his wife of eight years. An Androscoggin County sheriff’s deputy responded to the 225 East Hebron Road home and found Tetreault in bed, dead of a gunshot to the head.
Nichols told deputies he shot her with a .30-30 caliber rifle and accused her of having an affair with a client of their cleaning service and of downloading pornography.
Tetreault’s father dismissed those accusations. His daughter was working two jobs; she was owner of the Service Master Commercial Cleaning on Strawberry Avenue and was a seasonal manager at the L.L. Bean call center.
“And she was the mother of two boys,” Jack Tetreault said. “She didn’t have time to do half the things she’s being accused of doing.”
Tetreault said Nichols was simply unbalanced. He’d accused her of having affairs before.
“Ten years ago he went through a similar episode,” Tetreault said. “He was basically accusing her of having affairs. He stalked her to the point she had to give up the job she had.”
They reconciled and married two years later, but the episodes continued.
“That was his pattern,” Tetreault said. “He’d do something like this and then come back all sweetness and light. And for the kids’ sake, she’d take him back. In my mind, it was a typical situation where you have an abuser having control.”
Nichols also worked at Service Master as a manager, Tetreault said. On Monday, Androscoggin County Superior Court ordered a mental examination of Nichols at the state’s hospital in Augusta. The court is expected to set a date for a bail hearing. Nichols is being held without bail in Androscoggin County Jail.
Tetreault said one concern was his daughter’s reputation.
“I hate the idea that she appears to have any blame for being shot,” he said. “I don’t know how anybody can say that. She was a wonderful person, a good mother and hard worker.”
Tetreault said he’s just as concerned about the future of her sons, Travis, 17, and Tyson, 15. They will live with their uncle, Clay Nichols in Turner, so they can continue attending Leavitt Area High School
“We have really great relationships with the family on that side,” Tetreault said. “They have been so supportive of us and of the boys. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”
Maine State Police Detective Sgt. Richard Fowler said Tuesday that there was nothing new to report on the shooting and that the investigation was continuing.