Experts: Forensics link accused to woman’s murder

Posted Nov. 20, 2008, at 1:42 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:16 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Forensic experts say DNA evidence presented Thursday in the court case against Ashton Moores, who is charged with the rape and murder of Christina Simonin in March 2007, connects the victim with the accused.

Blood found on a baseboard and under ripped up carpet in Moores’ First Street apartment and inside a wheelbarrow he borrowed from his landlord, match Simonin’s, and semen found on the victim’s underwear matches the DNA of Moores, two forensic scientists from the Maine State Police crime laboratory testified.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson alleges that Moores, 60, raped and killed Simonin, 43, of Bangor and used the wheelbarrow to dump her bound and bagged body a block from his residence.

Her body was found by four teenagers at around 8 p.m. on March 3, wrapped in a blue vinyl mattress cover and comforter behind an apartment building at 148 Union St.

Three video surveillance tapes from buildings around where Simonin’s body was found were entered into evidence Tuesday, and Detective Brent Beaulieu, who is part of the Bangor Police Department’s criminal investigative division, also testified that day that Moores admitted to him that he was the man on the tapes.

The first surveillance video, which was recorded at 12:43 a.m. March 3, 2007, shows a grainy figure pushing a wheelbarrow up First Street and the side driveway of the Shaw House, located on the corner of First and Union streets.

An item that appears to be wrapped in a blue tarp is clearly visible in the wheelbarrow in that video, which was provided by the Shaw House.

The second video, also from the Shaw House and displaying the same time and date, shows a figure from the waist up, passing in and out of view along the bottom of the picture frame and then again seconds later at the top of the shot going behind the shed.

An audiotape in which Moores admits to borrowing a wheelbarrow from his landlord also was played Tuesday, and a neighbor who lived across the hall from Moores at the time of the homicide, also testified that she gave him the comforter in which Simonin’s body was wrapped.

Defense attorneys Terence Harrigan and Seth Harrow claim their client is innocent, and police failed to investigate thoroughly two other men who could have killed Simonin. On Thursday they questioned why DNA samples were not taken from the men, both considered “people of interest” by local police officers.

After the forensic scientists testified and were cross-examined by defense counselors, both the prosecution and defense rested their cases.

Moores did not testify.

Before the court adjourned for lunch Thursday, Superior Court Justice William Anderson, who is hearing Moores’ jury-waived trial in Penobscot County Superior Court, asked to watch the videotapes again.

“We will resume at 2 o’clock for closing arguments,” Anderson said.

The judge has not said whether he will issue a verdict today or issue a written verdict in the near future.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

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