BANGOR, Maine — The children of the man whose brutalized and bloody body was found in his bathtub last week paid close attention Friday when their stepmother made her first court appearance on a murder charge.
On the other side of the courtroom, friends of Roxanne Jeskey, 48, of Bangor wept as she was brought before a judge in leg irons at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
She is charged with killing her husband, Richard Jeskey, 53, of Bangor on June 13 in a fit of jealousy in the Ohio Street apartment they shared.
Jeskey did not enter a plea Friday morning when she appeared before Superior Court Justice Ann Murray. The judge scheduled a bail hearing for July 5 and appointed Bangor attorneys Joseph Baldacci and David Bate to represent Jeskey, who is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
The prosecution is expected to file a motion for a psychiatric evaluation to determine if Jeskey is capable of assisting in her defense.
Family and friends of both Jeskeys declined to speak with reporters following the brief hearing.
On Wednesday, when Jesky was arrested, family members issued a statement through the Bangor Police Department.
“We are shocked and grieved at the loss of our family member,” it said. “We understand that the press has a job to do, however, we are asking that our privacy be respected at this time.”
Jeskey’s defense team said after the hearing that their client acted in self-defense.
“This is a tragic event, but the police have only told part of the story, leaving out the known fact that Ms. Jeskey was brutally assaulted by her husband the night of the incident,” Baldacci and Bate said in a joint statement emailed to the Bangor Daily News. “She denied responsibility for her husband’s death and is looking forward to her opportunity to present her evidence at trial.”
Bangor police Detective David Bushey, who interviewed Jeskey at St. Joseph Hospital’s emergency room two hours after she showed investigators her husband’s bloody body, declined Friday afternoon to discuss why Jeskey was taken to the hospital.
Baldacci said when he first met his client last week, she was “covered in bruises from head to toe.”
“It is my understanding she was at St. Joseph Hospital or Eastern Maine Medical Center for the 10 days prior to her arrest,” the attorney said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting Jeskey, declined Friday to comment on the case. It is the practice of the Attorney General’s Office not to comment on cases until they have been resolved.
A celebration of Richard Jeskey’s life is scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in Brewer.
He was a 1976 graduate of Brewer High School, according to an obituary published in Friday’s Bangor Daily News. He served 16 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and was member of the U.S. Army National Guard. He worked as a truck driver for N.H. Bragg and CDS.
Jeskey is survived by four children, Corey Jeskey, Garrett Jeskey, Andrew Jeskey and Claire Jeskey. In addition, he is survived by a brother, David Jeskey, and a sister, Melanie Pelletier.
According to divorce records filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Kimbly Jeskey and Richard Jeskey were married on Aug. 18, 1979, in Brewer. When they divorced, citing irreconcilable differences in 2008, she and their two younger children were living in the family home in Newport and he was living in Orrington.
Information about when Richard Jeskey and Roxanne Jeskey married was not available Friday.
Richard Jeskey was found naked and bloody in his bathtub, having been beaten and strangled by his wife in a fit of jealousy, according to Bangor police.
When Bangor police went to the couple’s Ohio Street apartment on June 13, Jeskey’s body showed signs of trauma to his groin, upper torso, face and head, according to a police affidavit filed Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center. The results of an autopsy conducted June 14 at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta showed that Jeskey suffered extensive multiple blunt and sharp force injuries to the head, neck, torso, and limbs.
Roxanne Jeskey admitted that she and her husband had a fight the night of June 12 into the early morning hours of June 13 because of a phone call between Richard Jeskey and his ex-girlfriend, according to the affidavit. About two hours after she called police at 8:29 a.m. June 13, Jeskey admitted that she assaulted her husband “with various weapons including pliers, a box cutter and a plastic baseball bat,” the affidavit said.
Neither Jeskey ever was issued a protection from abuse or protection from harassment order in Maine, according the Penobscot County court clerk’s office.
If convicted of murder, Roxanne Jeskey faces a minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum sentence of life.