Bangor woman pleads not guilty to killing husband in June

Roxanne Jeskey of Bangor and her attorney Joseph Baldacci (right) appear for Jeskey's arraignment before District Court Judge Bruce Jordan (not pictured) at Penobscot Judicial Center Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.
Roxanne Jeskey of Bangor and her attorney Joseph Baldacci (right) appear for Jeskey's arraignment before District Court Judge Bruce Jordan (not pictured) at Penobscot Judicial Center Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.
Posted Sept. 08, 2011, at 12:10 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 09, 2011, at 11:14 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Her voice barely audible in the large first-floor courtroom, the local woman accused of brutally slaying her husband in June pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge during a brief hearing at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Roxanne M. Jeskey, 48, was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury in July on a charge of intentional or knowing murder or depraved indifference murder in the death of her husband, Richard Jeskey, 53.

Dressed in dark blue jail clothes, the accused killer appeared to have lost weight since her first court appearance after her arrest in June.

A trial date has not been set, but it usually takes at least a year for a murder case to be tried.

District Court Judge Bruce Jordan ordered Thursday that the defendant continue to be held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail. The issue of bail could be revisited at a later date, he said.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who is prosecuting the case, said after the hearing that she has filed a motion asking that Jeskey undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Family and friends of the victim and the defendant attended Jeskey’s arraignment but declined to speak to the news media.

On June 13, Richard Jeskey’s body was found naked and bloody in the bathtub of the couple’s home on Ohio Street.

During her initial court appearance in June, Jeskey, who is being represented by her court-appointed attorneys, Joseph Baldacci and David Bates, said she was acting in self-defense. She said she had been brutally assaulted by her husband the night he died.

Baldacci reiterated Thursday that when he first met his client, she was “covered in bruises from head to toe” and recovering from her injuries at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor.

Richard Jeskey was beaten and strangled by his wife in a fit of jealousy, according to Bangor police who investigated his death. When officers went to the couple’s home on June 13, Richard Jeskey’s body showed signs of trauma to his groin, upper torso, face and head, according to a police affidavit filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

The results of an autopsy conducted June 14 at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta showed that he suffered extensive multiple blunt- and sharp-force injuries to the head, neck, torso and limbs.

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 her husband and his ex-girlfriend, according to court documents. She admitted that she assaulted her husband “with various weapons including pliers, a box cutter and a plastic baseball bat.”

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