Friends call Koehler ‘quiet, calm, non-violent’

Posted Sept. 30, 2010, at 10:03 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Friends of murder suspect Colin Koehler described him Thursday morning as calm, quiet, gentle and nonviolent as his murder trial entered its fourth day.

Koehler, 35, of Bangor is charged with the fatal stabbing of Holly Boutilier on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, in a shack on the Bangor waterfront.

The defendant is expected to take the stand today. Jury deliberation most likely will begin Friday.

A handful of men and women called by defense attorney Peter Cyr of Portland told the jury they were surprised and shocked when they heard Koehler had been arrested and charged with murdering Boutilier, 19, of Old Town and Oakfield.

Several witnesses also said that they had never heard Koehler raise his voice and that they had seen him walk away from at least one possible altercation at a local bar.

Christie Goulas, of Bangor, and at least two others testified that the last time they saw Koehler was New Year’s Eve 2008 into New Year’s Day 2009. Goulas said that they did not see Koehler after he started dating Jessica Palmer, 23, of Bangor.

Palmer testified earlier this week that she broke up with Koehler a week before Boutilier was killed but stayed in touch with him. Palmer also said that Koehler told her he killed the teenager about 10 hours after Boutilier died.

Boutilier’s bloody body was discovered on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009, by a transient in a shack among the trees between the end of Dutton Street and the Veterans Remembrance Bridge. Koehler and Justin Ptaszynski went for a walk along the Penobscot River with Boutilier the day she died, according to court documents. Koehler was arrested two days later after a brief standoff with Bangor police outside his Columbia Street apartment.

Ptyszynski, 28, of Bangor, testified Tuesday that he saw Koehler kill Boutilier.

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