PARIS – The defense began calling witnesses Thursday in the double murder trial of Duane Christopher Waterman, focusing on an accident last spring involving a truck owned by one of the victims.

Waterman, 33, of Sumner is accused of shooting Timothy Mayberry, 50, of West Paris and Todd Smith, 43, of Paris at Mayberry’s home at 89 Tuelltown Road on July 25, 2008.

Three of the five witnesses called by defense attorney John Jenness Jr. on the fifth day of the trial testified about a May 12, 2008, accident involving Mayberry’s truck.

Taking the witness stand in Oxford County Superior Court, Shane Thomas, a reserve officer with the Oxford Police Department, and Harry Sims, a part-time officer with the Norway and Paris Police Departments, said they responded to an accident on Robinson Hill Road in Oxford around 3:30 a.m. that day.

Both officers said there was no one at the scene, and the truck belonged to Mayberry. They also said it had a false inspection sticker, and a shotgun and alcoholic beverages were recovered at the scene. Attempts to reach Mayberry were unsuccessful, they said.

Thomas said a prescription bottle of OxyContin that had been filled with 540 pills days before the accident was found at the scene with only 66 pills remaining.

Chief Jon Tibbetts of the Oxford Police Department testified that Mayberry asked for the pills to be returned at the end of June, but was told he would need a note from a doctor.

Tibbetts said Mayberry returned with a note from a Veterans Administration hospital, but “the doctor did not want to take responsibility for the pills.”

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson did not cross-examine any witnesses testifying about the accident.

On Tuesday, John E. Cox III of Woodstock testified that he and Mayberry had gotten into a brief physical altercation over Cox’s reluctance to file a false accident report on behalf of Mayberry. Cox said Mayberry asked him to report the truck stolen after he got into the accident.

On Wednesday, Waterman’s wife, Naomi, testified that Mayberry had been worried that she would talk to police about the false report or drug trades as a way of getting out of jail. She was arrested July 11, 2008, for shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

Naomi also testified that her husband was considering talking to Chief Tibbetts about the accident investigation while he was angry with Mayberry over his insistence that Waterman repay a debt. She said she and Waterman owed Mayberry about $1,500 for OxyContin pills they kept instead of selling in Machias.

Detective Mark Holmquist of the Maine State Police said in court Thursday that he took part in the investigation at Mayberry’s home after the killings. Holmquist said police observed broken bottles and a white barrel with small-caliber bullet holes in it, after being told that a .380-caliber weapon may have been used for target shooting there. No bullets were found in the barrel.

Holmquist also testified that three .380-caliber shell casings were found in Mayberry’s living room and .380-caliber bullets were found in a nightstand at Waterman’s residence at 30 Front Street in Sumner. He also confirmed that red-brown stains were found on a step by a sliding glass door in the living room and on the edge of the door.

The defense will continue its case at 9 a.m. Friday before jurors and Justice Roland Cole.

 


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