ROCKLAND, Maine — “I didn’t want her to die. I loved her,” accused murderer Arnold Diana told police last November, according to transcripts of his recently released interview with investigators.
The documents filed in Knox County Superior Court give Diana’s account of the night Katrina Windred died.
It was two days before Thanksgiving. Windred and Diana recently had ended a long on-again, off-again relationship and Windred went to Diana’s apartment to drop off some of his belongings. She had left her son in her car in a nearby parking lot while she went upstairs with Diana. Once they shut the kitchen door, things immediately got tense.
“She asked me where I was going for Thanksgiving. I told her and she got mad at me,” Diana told police.
According to the murder suspect, he planned on having a holiday dinner with his new girlfriend — a woman he dated while still in a relationship with Windred. Windred had found out about his cheating and made him choose between the two. He chose Windred, but the relationship did not last. Still, he told police that Windred remained jealous.
“She pushed me [at] my apartment by the front door. And there I just lost it. I guess I grabbed her,” Diana told police.
Although he couldn’t remember exactly where he grabbed her, the Maine Medical Examiner already had determined that Windred died by strangulation. Police had found the body bruised and wrapped in a blanket where it had been dumped on the outskirts of town, by a quarry near the dump.
Diana told police that when he grabbed her, both fell to the floor. He said that he was on top of her for a few moments and she scratched at his head. When he stood up, Windred was still alive but apparently not conscious, he said.
Not knowing what to do, he put her face-down on his bed and covered her with a blanket. Her face was on top of a pillow that police later found hidden under Diana’s mattress. The pillow was soaked with “a significant volume of blood,” police reported.
“She was still breathing a little bit when I put her on the bed. I was hoping she’d snap out of it. When I realized she wasn’t breathing, I got scared,” Diana told police. “I was like, ‘What am I gonna do. What am I gonna do. What am I gonna do.’”
He decided to get Windred’s 11-year-old son out of her car, which was parked outside the apartment, and bring him upstairs. He told the boy that Windred was sleeping. The boy knew something was wrong because Windred had a medical condition that didn’t allow her to lie flat on a bed. She always slept sitting up in bed, he told police. Always.
As the boy’s bedtime came, Diana said he put the boy on the bed next to his mother, where he fell asleep.
Around midnight, Diana decided he had to get Windred’s body out of the house. He wrapped her in a blanket, tied it with bits of towel and dragged her down several flights of stairs. His bloody hands left prints on the walls and in the stairwell. He dragged the 110-pound body to his new girlfriend’s pickup truck and put it in the passenger’s seat. Then he went back to his apartment and sat in his chair, exhausted and sweaty.
After catching his breath, he headed back to the truck while Windred’s son slept.
“I just got in [my girlfriend’s] truck and just drove. I went down Limerock Street and then I saw a dirt road and said ‘all right,’” Diana said. “I noticed a bend and parked there and pulled her out and dragged her over there and put her there. I got back in [the] truck and drove back.”
For the next couple of hours he sat in his apartment thinking. Around 3 a.m. Windred’s son woke up asking where his mom went. Arnold told him she had gone out with friends.
“I didn’t know what else to say,” he told police.
The day he confessed, Nov. 27, 2010, was the first time Diana had ever told anyone what happened the night of Nov. 20.
“That’s everything,” he told police at the end of his three-hour interview. He was arrested and charged with murder later that night.
Last Friday, Diana’s attorney, Christopher MacLean, filed a motion to suppress from evidence the portion of the recorded interview that contains the confession. MacLean argues that his client called off the interview two-thirds of the way through and the police kept at him regardless.
It was at that point that Maine State Police Detective Michael Mitchell got a bit confrontational with Diana. The suspect hadn’t provided much information at that point and had denied killing Windred. That’s when Mitchell asked Diana to prove his love to Windred by telling police the truth to help police figure out what happened.
“[Not talking is] a funny way of showing that you loved her,” Mitchell said.
“All right. Now that’s it. Don’t make it like that,” Diana said. “I do love her. I would never hurt her … I’m calling this over.”
After a cigarette break, however, police reread Diana his Miranda rights and continued the interview, during which he confessed. Because the man was read his rights again, the state is arguing that the confession can be used in court.
It’s unclear when a justice will rule on the motion.