FARMINGTON – Deep stab wounds with hemorrhaging caused the death of Judy Flagg on Jan. 6, 1983, the state’s chief medical examiner testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Thomas Mitchell Jr.

Dr. Margaret Greenwald was one of 10 witnesses who testified on the first day of the state’s case against Mitchell, 52, who has been held without bail at the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta since 2006.

Mitchell is accused of killing Flagg, 23, in her Watson Heights Road home in Fayette.

Greenwald said Flagg suffered five deep stab wounds to her chest, stomach, back and hip, some superficial wounds and scratches and defensive wounds on her hands, wrists and fingers.

One stab to the chest, just below the clavicle, injured the tip of a lung and went through the heart, Greenwald said. Another stab went through Flagg’s stomach, she said. Either cut could have been fatal, she said.

Greenwald put the time of death between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Flagg’s husband, Ted Flagg, testified that he had left early in the morning that day to work a double shift, 16 hours, at a Jay paper mill. He remembered kissing his wife goodbye, and before he left, yelling up to her not to let the wood stove fire go out. He arrived home at about 10:50 that night to a darkened house, he said.

When he turned on a light, he saw his wife lying on the floor of the kitchen, a phone clutched in her hand beneath her body and their 13-month-old son lying on top of her in blood-soaked clothing, he said.

The wood fire was out.

Flagg testified that Mitchell had come by the house, formerly owned by Mitchell’s father, to collect a lamp after the couple bought the house. Mitchell was angry, Flagg said, because he gave the lamp to the Realtor.

“He wasn’t happy; you could see it in his face,” Flagg said. “It was distorted.”

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes said in his opening statement that evidence would show “Judy Flagg fought for her life and her baby’s life.” There was evidence of a struggle in the baby’s room, Stokes said.

DNA evidence, including fiber found in a split fingernail taken from Flagg’s right hand and semen found on the cuff of her son’s shirt, connect Mitchell to the murder, Stokes said.

Evidence shows that Mitchell orally raped Flagg and stabbed her to death, Stokes said. There was also a match on a cast of footprints taken from the snow that day and the shoes police later seized from Mitchell’s home, the prosecutor said. There are witnesses who saw Mitchell driving his car that day, including a retired South Portland police lieutenant. Thomas Roche testified he saw Mitchell’s 1973 Thunderbird heading north on I-95 before 7:30 a.m. that morning.

Flagg’s sister, Monica Dion Conant, and brother, David Dion, and his wife, Jackie Dion, all testified that they talked to Judy Flagg between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. that day. During Conant’s conversation with her sister at 10:30, Flagg said she thought someone was at her house. Shortly after, she heard her sister talking to someone and then told her there was a man there who said he was a friend of Ted’s. Judy promised to call back. Conant said her sister had also said that a man claiming to be a friend of Ted’s had called earlier and she told him Ted would be home at 11 p.m.

Defense attorney Greg Dorr said Mitchell was in South Portland, operating his vehicle near his home, at the time of the murder. The car and the shoes could have belonged to someone else, he said, and the DNA evidence was contaminated. Dorr argued that it could have belonged to others, including Mitchell’s father, Thomas Mitchell Sr., who had lived in the house but had died prior to the Flaggs buying it. It also could have been left by Mitchell himself when he visited his father, Dorr said.

“There is no eyewitness to this crime,” Dorr said. “As a result of this, the state’s case is based on circumstantial evidence.”

Dorr also said fingerprints taken at the scene did not match Mitchell’s. Some fingerprints have not been identified, he said, fingerprints from an unknown person who was there.

There were also pubic hairs found on the outside of Flagg’s clothing at the scene and at the morgue, Dorr said, that did not belong to her, her husband or Mitchell.

The trial resumes at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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