AUBURN — Brandi Robinson told the jury at her brother's murder trial Thursday that he confided in her that he had killed Christiana Fesmire and had "taken care of the situation."
Robinson said her twin, Buddy Robinson, 31, of Lewiston, told her that the body of Fesmire, 22, was in the trunk of Brandi Robinson's black Lexus sedan, parked at their home at 36 Highland Ave.
Brandi Robinson, who lived with her brother in an upstairs apartment, said she went downstairs to Fesmire's former apartment on July 1, 2011. Fesmire supposedly had moved out by that date. By the kitchen sink, Brandi Robinson noticed a blue mop bucket filled with water that was tinted red, presumably by Fesmire's blood.
Robinson vomited, then had the dry heaves after seeing her brother's cleanup efforts, she said on the third day of the trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court. Earlier that morning, Buddy had told her, using Fesmire's cellphone, that he and Fesmire had had a fight.
According to Robinson, Buddy later told her he had to sit on Fesmire in the bathtub, presumably to drown her. He also said he had taken her body two clicks (kilometers) to a swampy area to dispose of it. While camping that weekend in Gardiner, Robinson said, Buddy used a knife that Brandi had bought him to cut up a blanket that Buddy had used to wrap Fesmire's body. The blanket pieces were disposed of in the campfire.
He also asked her to buy bleach, paper towels and air fresheners at a Walmart store in Augusta so he could clean up the Lexus, she said.
Brandi Robinson spent most of Thursday on the witness stand, answering questions from Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson and defense attorney Edward "Ted" Dilworth III, who sought to cast doubt on the prosecutor's version of events by pointing out Brandi Robinson's inconsistent answers in prior interviews.
Robinson said she had initially lied to police to protect her brother. She eventually told the truth because police told her she was a suspect in the slaying, and she didn't want to lose her young son, she said.
Fesmire went missing on July 1, 2011. Her body has not been recovered.
Brandi Robinson said she told her boyfriend, Levi Gervais, as well as several other friends and acquaintances, about her brother's confession.
Robinson was taken through the events of June 30 and July 1 and beyond by both attorneys, movement by movement.
She said her brother's actions on July 1 had unnerved her.
"I was just freaking out all day," she said. She said she spent most of the day with other people. One of them was Alanda Godbout of Canada, who worked as an "escort" for Brandi, starting in mid-June 2011 and ending on July 1.
Godbout testified at Buddy Robinson's bail hearing a year ago and was unable to attend the trial Thursday. Her testimony from last year's hearing was read into the record by a woman who sat in the witness stand and spoke Godbout's portion of the transcript. Benson read into the trial record questions posed by Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, who served as prosecutor during last year's bail hearing.
In her written testimony, Godbout states she spent most of the morning of July 1, 2011, with Brandi Robinson. She said she briefly glimpsed Fesmire, who had arrived at the Highland Avenue apartment building as Robinson and Godbout were leaving early that morning. Fesmire was supposed to pick up the rest of her belongings from the downstairs apartment, then borrow Robinson's Lexus to drive to a family reunion that weekend in Rangeley.
Fesmire never arrived at the reunion.
Godbout said that when she and Brandi returned to the Highland Avenue apartment later that morning, Brandi told her to go straight upstairs. On her way up the stairs, Godbout said she noticed Buddy's hat sitting on one of the steps. It was wet, she said. She saw Buddy upstairs and noticed that his pants were also wet.
Buddy told Godbout that Fesmire had thrown up everywhere because she was on drugs, Godbout said in the bail hearing transcript.
Godbout said she took a shower that was interrupted by Gervais, who told her Brandi was upset. Then Brandi entered the bathroom and threw up in the toilet.
Godbout said she went downstairs to use the bathroom in the apartment where she had slept the night before. But it looked different. Bags had been hurriedly dropped, and the bathroom floor was shiny in areas, as if they had been mopped recently, she said.
Gervais rushed her out of the apartment so she could give Buddy Robinson a ride to work at a call center in the Lewiston Mall, she said.
When Godbout returned to Highland Avenue, Brandi asked if she could take Godbout into her confidence. She told Godbout that Fesmire was dead.
Godbout, remembering what Buddy had told her about Fesmire's drug habits, assumed that Fesmire had overdosed. But Brandi said Buddy must have snapped, killed Fesmire, cleaned her up and put her in the trunk of the Lexus.
She asked Godbout if she knew any gangster friends who might know how to hide a body. "'I can't let my brother go to jail,'" Brandi said in Godbout's written testimony.
Godbout, who had gone to school with Buddy at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, said she knew Buddy to be a "very sweet man" and that Brandi "definitely had a devious personality" that gave Godbout a "weird vibe." She said she feared both brother and sister after she had been told Fesmire was dead.
Prosecutors said they plan to call witnesses Friday who will corroborate Brandi Robinson's version of events.
Earlier in the week, experts testified they found traces of spattered blood in the downstairs apartment that matched Fesmire's DNA.
The trial, which started Tuesday, is expected to last more than two weeks.