A Bowdoin man is charged with murdering a 16-year-old girl.

SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A prosecutor said Tuesday circumstantial evidence would prove that Olland Reese murdered a Brunswick teenager, but the defense said investigators botched the case and arrested Reese because of pressure to charge someone with the killing.

Jurors heard opening statements in the trial of Reese, 20, of Bowdoin, who is accused of killing Cody Green, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared May 26, 2002. Her body was found a month later in a shallow grave near Reese’s home.

Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren told the jury of 11 women and four men that the trial is expected to take at least two weeks and will include testimony from some of the 100 potential witnesses and experts named by the two sides.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said the motive for the killing may never be known for sure.

Some jurors will leave the trial convinced that the killing stemmed from a drug deal gone bad, she said, while others will think a sexual act gone bad motivated Reese to murder Green. And still others might believe jealously over Green’s friendship with his girlfriend led Reese to commit the crime, according to the prosecutor.

Marchese said evidence will include samples of Green’s blood found in Reese’s home, some of it on a blood-stained hatchet – the alleged weapon used to deliver a fatal blow to Green’s head. Other evidence will come from testimony by family members who knew Green was planning to visit Reese’s girlfriend, who, at the time, was living at Reese’s house.

Marchese also said the defendant knew that Green’s hands were bound with duct tape – information only police and the killer could have known.

“The evidence will not come to you in one big piece. It unfolds witness by witness, piece by piece, exhibit by exhibit,” the prosecutor said.

Defense counsel Andrews Campbell said Reese’s arrest came about only as police faced mounting public pressure to charge someone with Green’s murder.

He said the police investigation was “badly botched” and raised the possibility that samples of Green’s blood found in Reese’s home were somehow planted.

Campbell told jurors that investigators gathered most of their evidence after Reese’s arrest.

“It was all done after he was arrested, mostly to justify the arrest,” Campbell said.

Campbell also suggested that the state police investigation, which included two searches of Reese’s house, was bungled in part because of a failure to locate a bloodstain on the kitchen wall until the second search.

“Why would (Reese) leave a highly visible blood stain on the wall?” Campbell asked.

He said Reese knew Green’s hands were bound with duct tape because that information could have been gleaned from search warrants left at the Bowdoin home.

Campbell also said his client’s conflicting statements to police about his whereabouts on the weekend Green was last seen could be explained by his desire to keep his girlfriend out of trouble.

“The fact that he lied does not make him a murderer,” Campbell said. “He had no motive to kill this girl.”

The trial was moved to Somerset County because it received extensive news media coverage in the Brunswick area.

AP-ES-07-08-03 1629EDT



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