BANGOR, Maine — The woman accused of brutally slaying her husband 2½ years ago in the bathtub of their Ohio Street apartment is likely to take the stand when her murder trial resumes next week at the Penobscot Judicial Center, her attorney said Thursday.
The jury-waived murder trial of Roxanne Jeskey was recessed Dec. 20 to give the defendant time to decide if she will take the stand, among other reasons, defense attorney Joseph Baldacci of Bangor said last month.
The defendant did not address the court Thursday.
Jeskey, 50, of Bangor is charged with intentional or knowing murder and depraved indifference murder in the death of her husband, Richard Jeskey, 53. His naked and bloody body was discovered June 13, 2011. A broken flip phone was found on his chest. He was beaten and strangled, according to the autopsy.
Roxanne Jeskey’s trial began Dec. 16 before Superior Court Justice E. Allen Hunter at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor. The state rested Dec. 19. The trial will resume Monday with the testimony of Richard Doiron, a Portland neuropsychologist who testified earlier that Jeskey was not competent to stand trial.
The defense team did not indicate Thursday when Jeskey might take the stand.
Baldacci said Thursday that Jeskey has an “active psychotic disorder” that makes it difficult for them to work with her. He asked that she be examined by a psychiatrist due to their recent experiences with her.
He told the judge there are times when she is “not competent.”
Hunter denied the request.
Baldacci said Dec. 20 that he and co-counsel David Bate of Bangor would use the time off from the trial to consult with Jeskey about whether she would take the stand in her own defense.
“Due to her cognitive deficiencies and memory problems, we need some time to help her understand her options so she can make an informed decision,” Baldacci said last month.
Hunter said Thursday that he was confident Bate and Baldacci had informed Jeskey of her right to remain silent and the fact that if she took the stand she would be cross-examined by Assistant Attorneys General Leane Zainea and Deb Cashman.
Experts for the defense and prosecution have said that Jeskey’s ability to process and retain information was affected 10 years ago when she had a brain tumor removed. Two judges have found her competent to stand trial, including Hunter, who is presiding over her trial.
Once the trial concludes next week, Hunter is expected to take the case under advisement and issue a written verdict in late January or early February.
Jeskey faces between 25 years and life in prison if convicted of murder. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, she would be committed to Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta until the staff deemed her no longer a danger to the community.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.