FARMINGTON — A Franklin County grand jury Thursday indicted a Jay man on a murder charge, accusing him of killing his girlfriend while she slept at her Jay home last month.

James “Ted” Sweeney, 57, who lived with Wendy Douglass, 51, at 5 Jewell St., turned himself in to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on July 11. He was formally charged Thursday.

Douglass’ body was discovered in her bed with “significant injuries to her head” and covered with a blanket on July 11, according to police. Jay officers found her body after they were asked to check on her well-being.

Sweeney presented a written note at the jail at about 7:53 a.m. that day that stated. “I’m going to jail cause I hurt my girlfriend. I live at 5 Jewel St. Jay my name is James e Sweeney. Please check Wendy Douglas at 5 Jewell St. jay I did wrong,” according to an affidavit filed with the court by Detective John L. Kyle II of the Maine State Police, Major Crimes Unit in the southern division.

Kyle learned from state police Detective Lauren Edstrom that a note was found on Douglass’ bedroom door that, according to the affidavit, stated “Wendy I love you you ruin my love I already know you cheat on me you lie lie lie a lot “Ted”.” 

While searching the residence, officials located a “black wooden baseball bat with red/brown staining on it, hidden at the base of the stairs leading to the second floor. The red/brown staining came back presumptive positive for blood,” according to the affidavit.


Dr. Clare Bryce of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta told Kyle that “’the cause of death is blunt force trauma to Wendy’s head. The manner of death is homicide,’” the affidavit states.

A murder conviction carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

Sweeney has been held without bail at the Franklin County Detention Center in Farmington since he made an initial appearance on July 13 before Justice William Stokes in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn.

A baseball bat found in the home is believed to be the murder weapon, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese said outside of the court following Sweeney’s appearance.

According to Kyle’s affidavit, a family member of Douglass told a Jay police detective that Douglass and Sweeney had broken up about one week before the murder but still lived together.

Douglass, who was well known in the area, had worked as produce manager at Food City in Livermore Falls for five years before her death.

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James Sweeney

Wendy Douglass

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