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Alternate suspect testifies in Rockland murder case

Stephen Betts | BDN
Stephen Betts | BDN
Arnold Diana, seated in wheelchair, and a Knox County Jail corrections officer await the arrival of the jury in Diana's murder trial in Rockland on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The woman who has been named by the defense as an alternate suspect in the November 2010 death of Katrina Windred took the stand Wednesday and denied she had threatened to kill Windred.

Minniann Miller-Wigmore, 48, of Washington was on the witness stand for three hours in Knox County Superior Court. She acknowledged she had been deeply in love with Arnold Diana, who is on trial for murder in connection to the Nov. 20, 2010, death of Windred, a 47-year-old single Friendship mother of one.

Miller-Wigmore denied she had ever had a jealous rage over Diana’s simultaneous romantic relationship with Windred, but in later testimony said she had become very angry when she learned Diana was lying to her about still sleeping with Windred. She admitted she threw his belongings out in her yard when she learned of the continued relationship.

The relationship between Miller-Wigmore and Diana had ended, but they got back together a month before Windred’s death. She said she began caring for Diana again and they had discussed marriage.

Miller-Wigmore said that Windred was using Diana for his food stamps and checks. She acknowledged she did not think Windred would let Diana go.

Miller-Wigmore and Diana spent much of the week before Windred’s death together at MIller-Wigmore’s home, which was then in Union.

She denied that she had told anyone that she hated Windred and denied threatening to kill her.

Anna Silverman of Rockland testified later Wednesday afternoon that she had lived with Miller-Wigmore for about two months in early 2010 and she recalled the woman repeatedly saying how she hated Windred and wished that she were dead.

“She would curse her out, call her every name in the book” whenever Windred’s name was raised, Silverman said.

Under cross-examination by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese, Silverman acknowledged that she and Miller-Wigmore were no longer friends. Silverman denied, however, that Miller-Wigmore had asked her to leave and Silverman also denied that Miller-Wigmore had been upset by Silverman’s use of marijuana and alcohol.

Silverman also testified that Miller-Wigmore would constantly check Diana’s cellphone to see if he had been in contact with Windred. Miller-Wigmore had earlier denied ever checking Diana’s phone.

Miller-Wigmore said she was on Vinalhaven with her daughter on the weekend that Windred was killed.

Miller-Wigmore said she could not recall a conversation she had with Maine State Police Trooper Jason Andrews in the early hours of Nov. 22, when she said that police would not find any blood in the truck. Police had called her to get permission to search her vehicle, which had been parked in the back of the Thorndike apartments in Rockland. She agreed to allow police to search the vehicle.

The witness also testified that Diana had never driven her truck but that she had left a key with him on the weekend Windred disappeared because Miller-Wigmore was going out to Vinalhaven and wanted Diana to watch her belongings, which were in her pickup truck.

Miller-Wigmore told jurors, in response to a question from Marchese, that she had been undergoing treatment for cancer in 2010 and was down to 88 pounds at that time.

Diana announced near the end of the day Wednesday — the eighth day of his trial — that he would not be testifying. In response to a question from Justice Jeffrey Hjelm, Diana said it was his decision not to take the stand.

A confession made by Diana to Maine State Police was not presented to the jury because Hjelm ruled it was inadmissible, since Diana had asked for questioning to stop during a Nov. 27 interrogation but the questioning continued.

The defense was scheduled to complete its case that afternoon.

Closing arguments and instructions to the jurors are expected to be made Thursday.

The prosecution claims that Diana strangled Windred, carried her body from his third-floor apartment to Miller-Wigmore’s truck, and then drove to the Thompson Meadow Road in Rockland, where he dumped her body. The prosecution said that he murdered Windred because she had ended their relationship.

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