HOULTON, Maine — Testimony about the discovery of a pickup truck taken from the scene of a triple-homicide in Amity is expected to take up much of the third day of the trial of Thayne Ormsby.

Ormsby, 21, has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to three counts of murder and an arson charge in connection with the stabbing deaths of Jeffrey Ryan, 55, Ryan’s son Jesse, 10, and Ryan family friend Jason Dehahn, 30, all of Amity, on June 22, 2010. They were found dead about 27 hours after the killings at the Ryans’ home on U.S. Route 1, according to police.

Jeffrey Ryan’s 1989 Ford F-150 pickup truck was found on June 26, 2010, four days after the slayings, in Weston by a Cape Cod family. Members of the Cifelli family found the burned-out truck on their property about 12 miles from the trailer where the three died.

James Merrill of Cary Plantation testified Tuesday afternoon that he saw Ryan’s truck heading south on U.S. Route 1 about 8 p.m. June 22, 2010, the night of the killings. Merrill was hauling a load of logs to a mill in Baileyville.

Merrill, who is Jeffrey’s Ryan’s first cousin, told jurors the truck pulled into the driveway of a junkyard located next to Robert Strout’s property.

Ormsby was living with Strout at the time of the slayings, according to previously published reports.

“I thought Jeff was driving,” Merrill testified. “I thought it was odd he was by himself because I knew he wouldn’t leave Jesse home alone. When I honked the horn, he didn’t wave or anything.”

Jesse Cifelli told the Bangor Daily News in June 2010 that he and his parents didn’t know the pickup they found on their 40-acre property off Bancroft Road was registered to Jeffrey Ryan until they went into town.

“It was completely incinerated,” Cifelli, then 20, said on June 26, 2010. “All of the interior was gone. There was nothing left, just the frame. We thought somebody went out joyriding after stealing it and torched it.

“The whole thing is just a frame and tires, and the tires were completely burnt off,” Cifelli added.

Jesse Cifelli is not listed as a potential witness at Ormsby’s trial. Daren Cifelli and Karen Cifelli, both of Weston, are on the state’s witness list.

A court security officer manned the front door to the Aroostook County Courthouse Wednesday morning after a relative of one of the victims was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to influence a member of the jury.

Albert Gaudet, 52, of Standish was charged with tampering with a juror. He is a nephew of Robert Dehahn, 55, of Amity, who is the father of Jason Dehahn, according to Maine State Police.

Gaudet allegedly urged a juror to “hang the bastard.” He made the statement as the juror was entering the Aroostook County Courthouse on Tuesday morning, state police said.

After he was arrested and taken to the Aroostook County Jail, Gaudet was released on $750 cash bail, according to the Aroostook County district attorney’s office in Houlton. His bail conditions include not returning to Houlton until the Ormsby trial concludes. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Aroostook County Superior Court on July 18.


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