Trial date set for man charged with murder of missing Presque Isle woman

Posted March 11, 2013, at 5:08 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A trial date has been set for a Presque Isle man arrested and charged last summer with intentional or knowing murder in the death of a woman who had been missing for nearly 13 years.

Jury selection in the case against George Jaime, 76, is set to begin the week of Nov. 4, his attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, confirmed Monday.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said that Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson will head up the prosecution team in the case against Jaime, who has remained in jail since his arrest on July 12, 2012.

Jaime was charged in the death of Starlette Vining of Presque Isle, who was 38 years old when she last was seen in the fall of 1998 in the Presque Isle area.

Vining’s body has not been found.

Jaime was arrested at The Star City Trading Post, the pawn shop he operated on the corner of Main and State streets in Presque Isle. The shop is part of a large apartment house, which police searched for four days before Jaime’s arrest.

A hearing to address bail for Jaime a week after his arrest was postponed and has not been rescheduled, Silverstein said Monday.

Vining and Jaime were in a relationship in 1998, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

According to Vining’s missing-person profile on the state police website, she last worked at Smythe’s IGA in Presque Isle. That store closed in July 2007. Described as a dependable employee, Vining suddenly stopped going to work in the fall of 1998 and never returned to pick up her last paycheck.

Vining’s former husband and her three now-adult children told police that they had last seen her in 1998.

Maine State Police Detective Josh Haines said that family members reported her missing in October 2006. The detective said the family was not close, and Vining tended to relocate often. She did not always keep in touch with her family, but she never was out of their lives for more than a few years at a time, he said.

Attorney Alan Harding of Presque Isle represented Jaime at his initial court appearance. Harding successfully argued for a judge to seal an affidavit and search warrant filed by Maine State Police, which has prevented details about the case from being released to the public.

A Superior Court clerk said Monday that the documents remain sealed.

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