BANGOR, Maine — Jury selection began Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center for the murder trial of a Bradford man set to begin March 25.
Peter Robinson, 49, is accused of beating to death David Trask, 71, of Hudson on Nov. 12, 2011, in an alleged dispute over a right-of-way. Robinson, who is free on bail on $150,000 surety bail, has claimed he acted in self-defense when he beat Trask to death with a crowbar, according to previously published reports.
Robinson pleaded not guilty on Dec. 2, 2011, to intentional or knowing murder and depraved indifference murder.
More than 100 potential jurors crowded into the large second-floor courtroom in downtown Bangor. Jury selection was expected to take all day.
He called 911 about 2 p.m. Nov. 12 to report Trask’s death, according to court documents.
“He came at me with a crowbar, I took it out of his hands and I struck him in the head a couple of times and I think he’s dead,’’ Robinson told a dispatcher at the Maine State Police Barracks in Orono, according to the affidavit. “‘We had a confrontation, he came at me with a crowbar, I took it out of his hands and I clubbed him with it.’”
Trask died of head injuries with extensive fractures, Maine State Police Detective Jay Pelletier said in the documents. The investigator said he learned from Dr. Michael Ferenc, the deputy chief medical examiner, that Trask suffered at least three impacts consistent with a broad, heavy object hitting his face and chest. One of them caused multiple rib fractures and another, to the mid-portion of the face, crushed the front of his skull and injured the brain. The third was to the chin and broke Trask’s jaw. His false teeth were found broken on the ground near his body.
Robinson, who was released on bail Dec. 23, 2011, after being held at the Penobscot County Jail for about five weeks, has been living in Wells, according to court documents.
Bail conditions call for Robinson to live outside Penobscot County. He is only allowed into the county for court hearings, his bail bond states.
Robinson also is prohibited from having contact with more than 50 individuals, most of whom live in Hudson, Bradford, Corinth or Charleston.
The trial is expected to last five days.