ALFRED, Maine — A jury found a 29-year-old New Hampshire man guilty on Friday of murdering his ex-fiancee in Alfred two years ago.
Jurors reached a verdict after deliberating for several hours in York County Superior Court the previous day in the trial of Jason Twardus. The Rochester, N.H., man was convicted of strangling Kelly Gorham, 30, of Alfred in August 2007 and burying her body on property belonging to his father in Stewartstown, N.H., near the Canadian border.
Twardus had testified during the three-week trial that there were no hard feelings after his breakup with Gorham. His attorney, Daniel Lilley, had said police should look for other suspects.
Twardus stared straight ahead and showed no emotion when the verdict was read.
The victim’s mother, Pauline Gorham, was sitting in the front row of the courtroom. As the crowd cleared out, she began to cry and hugged her two other daughters. She said the verdict ended “three years of anxiety.”
“I felt numb,” Pauline Gorham told the Portland Press Herald. “I thought, I better wait and make sure this is real.”
Twardus and Gorham had been engaged to be married, but she broke up with him several months before the killing. Prosecutors said Twardus could not get over his ex-fiancee, and he was motivated to kill because she was moving on with her life without him.
A key piece of evidence was a surveillance tape showing Twardus and his car at a convenience store in Colebrook, N.H., around noon on Aug. 8, 2007, the day of Gorham’s murder. Prosecutors said the tape showed that Twardus was just a few miles from the spot where Gorham was buried and not at home in Rochester, N.H., as he told police.
Testifying in court, Twardus denied it was him. But jury foreman Mike Dinneen of Saco said jurors believed the man on the tape was Twardus.