Maine double-slaying trial begins

Posted Dec. 08, 2008, at 1:15 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A prosecutor on Monday told jurors that John A. Okie, the 22-year-old Newcastle man charged in last year’s slayings of his ex-girlfriend and his father, had a history of mental illness but was “perfectly stabilized” at the time of the killings.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson gave his opening statement in the Kennebec County Superior Court trial of Okie, who has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the killings, which took place six days apart in July 2007.

In his opening statement in Kennebec County Superior Court, Benson told the jury that the state does not have to show a motive or prove premeditation, and that evidence will never show what was in Okie’s head at the time of the killings, which took place six days apart in July 2007.

Evaluating the evidence will be like putting together a puzzle, he said.

“But we’ll never be able to give you all the pieces of the puzzle,” Benson said.

Authorities say Okie bludgeoned 19-year-old Alexandra “Aleigh” Mills to death in her family’s home in Wayne before fatally stabbing his 59-year-old father, John S. Okie, in Newcastle on July 16. Mills and Okie had been classmates at Kents Hill School in Readfield.

Okie has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the killings. His attorney was prepared to deliver his opening statement to jurors after Benson.

Okie has been held without bail since he was arrested hours after his father’s body was found.

He has a record that includes assault, eluding an officer, criminal trespass and speeding, as well as a history of mental illness. His mother has told police that her son hallucinated, had delusions and was under psychiatric care.

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