Police: Suspect told others of slaying

By Judy Harrison and Nok-Noi Ricker, Special to the BDN
Posted Aug. 17, 2009, at 11:07 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man charged with murdering an Old Town woman stabbed her in front of a male witness and told at least two other acquaintances he committed the crime before he was arrested, according to court documents released Monday.

Colin Koehler, 34, of Bangor stabbed 19-year-old Holly Boutilier in the abdomen and cut her throat between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at a shack near the Penobscot River, according to the affidavit. The document, written by Bangor police Detective Brent Beaulieu, stated that Koehler later admitted the act to his ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend.

A transient discovered Boutilier’s body on Sunday, Aug. 9, in a shack among the trees between the end of Dutton Street and the Veterans’ Remembrance Bridge near the river.

Koehler was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at his Columbia Street apartment by Bangor police after a standoff. He made his first court appearance last Thursday and remains in custody at the Penobscot County Jail.

The four-page affidavit filed in Penobscot County Superior Court on Aug. 13 in support of Koehler’s arrest was impounded last week by Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy. It was unsealed Monday after the Bangor Daily News filed a request that it be made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The document does not contain a motive for the slaying or state whether the weapon used in the killing was recovered. It also does not explain how Koehler and Boutilier knew each other or give any details about their relationship.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, whose office is prosecuting Koehler, declined Monday to answer questions about the case or discuss the details of Boutilier’s slaying.

The 27-year-old man named in the affidavit as a witness to the crime declined Monday afternoon to comment about what happened.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said outside his Bangor apartment.

Several electronic messages left by the BDN for Koehler’s ex-girlfriend were not returned. Her phone number was not in service.

A Bangor resident who said he is a friend of the victim and Koehler’s ex-girlfriend said on Monday that he believes the slaying is the result of a relationship gone bad.

Jason Parker, 36, whose MySpace page reads “RIP Holly B. We love and miss you very much,” said that the Old Town woman had stayed at his house, most recently on Monday, Aug. 3, and that he last spoke to her at around noon the day she died. He said Boutilier was “involved” with Koehler.

“She was upset about a woman coming into the picture,” he said, recalling a conversation with the victim earlier in the week. “She was talking about being used. She was very unhappy.”

Parker said he reported what he knew to police.Boutilier, Koehler and the witness went for a walk the afternoon of the slaying along the riverfront and, for reasons not explained in the affidavit, went into the shack. The witness told police that Koehler pulled a curved Japanese-style knife from a sheath and killed Boutilier, according to the affidavit.

“Koehler stabbed Boutilier in the abdomen while she was facing the other direction in a small storage building,” the affidavit stated. “Boutilier turned around and began to collapse into a fetal-type position when Koehler then slashed her throat.”

The witness allegedly told police that he was shocked and afraid that Koehler would kill him. The two men made “small talk” as they left the area by Hollywood Slots and walked to Shaw’s Supermarket on Main Street, according to the affidavit.

The two were recorded on a Hollywood Slots security camera leaving the crime scene area at 2:11 p.m., according to the police.

After they left the grocery store, Koehler and the witness went to the defendant’s Columbia Street apartment. Koehler, according to the affidavit, placed the weapon on top of his refrigerator.

According to the affidavit, the witness made a recorded phone call to Koehler to ask if he had gotten rid of the knife.

“Koehler indicated that it was taken care of and that he had several other sharp-edged instruments in the apartment, making it seem as if the suspect weapon would blend in,” the affidavit said.

A 20-year-old Bangor man described by police as the current boyfriend of Koehler’s ex-girlfriend went to the Bangor Police Station the day after Boutilier’s body was found. He told police that Koehler confessed to the killing in a phone conversation on Sunday, Aug. 9.

Koehler’s ex-girlfriend, 22, of Bangor also told police that the defendant confessed to her in a conversation the day after the killing, according to the affidavit.

A third man, who is 25 and lives in Bangor, told police on Tuesday, Aug. 11, that he was with the victim and Koehler at the defendant’s apartment the Friday before Boutilier was killed.

“At one point during that meeting when Boutilier was not looking,” the affidavit stated, “Koehler held up a Mini Katana [small Japanese sword] and said, ‘Can you imagine?’ [The witness] said that Koehler was making reference to stabbing Boutilier.”

The 25-year-old man allegedly told police that his roommate and Koehler “went for a walk on Saturday with Boutilier,” the affidavit said. “Boutilier did not return with them.”

Merchant marines aboard a tugboat in the area told police that they had seen a young woman matching the victim’s description walking with two men between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, toward the building where Boutilier’s body was found.

Information in the affidavit revealed that Boutilier was found wearing the same clothing, gray sweat pants and a pinkish-red bikini top, police said she was wearing the last time she was seen alive. The first police officer on the scene found “a deceased female with blood on her clothing and pooled blood near her head area,” the affidavit said.

Police found clothing at Koehler’s apartment matching the clothes he was wearing in the Hollywood Slots security video, according to the affidavit. Red-brown stains on the clothing tested positive for human blood.

Although the city had planned to tear down the shack where Boutilier was killed, the judge last week granted a defense motion that it be preserved as evidence.

Koehler is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail. On Monday, he waived his right to a bail hearing within five days of his first court appearance. His attorney, Richard Hartley of Bangor, could ask that a bail hearing be held at a later date.

It is expected that Koehler will be indicted later this month by the Penobscot County grand jury.

Potential witnesses listed in the affidavit were not named in this story at the discretion of the Bangor Daily News.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/08/17/news/bangor/police-suspect-told-others-of-slaying/ printed on July 22, 2014