PARIS – With the state prosecutor calling her an “absolutely essential witness,” the wife of a man standing trial on two murder charges was granted immunity from prosecution Tuesday.

Justice Roland Cole approved the offer at the close of the second day of the trial of Duane Christopher Waterman, 33, of Sumner. He is accused of shooting Timothy Mayberry, 50, and Todd Smith, 43, last July at Mayberry’s house on Tuelltown Road in West Paris.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Naomi Waterman will testify that her husband visited her in jail on July 26, the day after the killings are believed to have occurred, and told her, “‘If anyone asks you about the .380, tell them you sold it. Tim is going to be on the news tonight.'”

The statement occurred before the bodies of the men were discovered on the evening of July 26, Benson said.

He said Naomi Waterman would also testify that she and her husband purchased a .380-caliber handgun prior to the shootings, did drug deals for Mayberry, were addicted to painkillers and were being pressured by Mayberry to repay a debt. He said she would also testify that she lied to police and a grand jury by saying she sold the handgun.

Benson asked for immunity to allow her to testify without fear of prosecution for drug use, perjury and assisting with the purchase of a firearm for a felon. The Watermans were married in 1992; Naomi filed for divorce in April.

Defense lawyer John Jenness Jr. has argued that the state should be barred from introducing into evidence any “privileged communications” between the two, as the Maine Rules of Evidence allow a married person to prevent a spouse from testifying about confidential discussions.

Two of the 12 witnesses who spoke on Tuesday also did so on the condition of immunity. John E. Cox III of Woodstock and Justin Elsman of Livermore Falls said they illegally obtained OxyContin or Oxycodone painkillers through Mayberry. Elsman said he occasionally sold painkillers or cocaine to Mayberry.

Cox also testified that he loaned Mayberry a 20-gauge shotgun that was recovered from Mayberry’s home after the killings.

Elsman said Mayberry had told him he was having trouble collecting a debt, and that he suggested to Mayberry that he tell the debtor he needed to repay a loan from “bikers or bad people” who would attack him and the debtor as a way to help speed up repayment.

Albert Brackett testified that Mayberry confronted Waterman at Brackett’s uncle’s apartment in Norway over a debt three weeks or a month prior to Mayberry’s death. Brackett said Mayberry and Waterman had an argument over the issue.

“As far as I remember, (Waterman) said (Mayberry) was going to pay for what he was doing,” Brackett said.

Evelyn Cundiff of Paris said she recalled a conversation with Brackett’s uncle, since deceased, in which she heard Waterman say in the background, “If Tim keeps bugging me about the money I owe him, I’m going to kill him.”

Cundiff reaffirmed the statement after Jenness said it was different from one in a detective’s report, which reads that Waterman said he was going to “get” Mayberry. When asked by Jenness if she did not like Waterman, Cundiff replied that she had not had anything against him prior to the shootings.

“I’m not too happy about what happened,” Cundiff said.

In other testimony, Michael and Amanda Tripp of Paris said Smith had been staying at their home since breaking up with Amanda’s mother, and that Mayberry picked him up to watch movies at his house on the evening of July 25.

Ed McNally, of Benson Hill Road in West Paris, said he heard three gunshots from the direction of Mayberry’s home shortly before 10 p.m. on July 25. He recalled that he also saw a red truck at Mayberry’s house and heard someone yell loudly once at midday on July 24 while walking in the area. He said the truck left soon after with two people in it.

John Cox gave a conflicting account, saying he drove his red pickup to Mayberry’s on the afternoon of July 25 and that Mayberry raised his voice while discussing Waterman. Cox also said there was not a second person in the vehicle and he did not see anyone walking on the road.

Wayne Ladouceur, who lives next to Waterman’s house on Front Street in Sumner, said he saw Waterman drive his Jeep Cherokee up to Waterman’s property without his headlights on at around 10:15 p.m. on July 25. Ladouceur said there was another person in the Jeep, to whom Waterman said, “Hurry up; hurry up,” and that the vehicle left five to 10 minutes later.

Margaret Greenwald, the state’s chief medical examiner, said she found six gunshot wounds in Smith’s body and four in Mayberry’s, but she was unsure whether some bullets caused multiple wounds. She said the men died of injuries to their vital organs after each was shot once in the chest and once in the abdomen.

Three bullets were recovered from Mayberry’s body, and two were found in Smith’s body.

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