Case of Bangor woman accused of murdering husband now in judge’s hands

Posted Jan. 07, 2014, at 2:04 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 07, 2014, at 6:38 p.m.
Roxanne Jeskey, 50, who is accused of killing her husband, Richard Jeskey, 2 1/2 years ago, listens during her trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Jan. 2.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Roxanne Jeskey, 50, who is accused of killing her husband, Richard Jeskey, 2 1/2 years ago, listens during her trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Jan. 2.

BANGOR, Maine — The fate of a local woman accused in the brutal slaying 2 ½ years ago of her husband in their bathtub is in the hands of a Superior Court judge after a jury-waived trial ended Tuesday after six days of testimony.

Superior Court Justice E. Allen Hunter will decide if Roxanne Jeskey, 50, of Bangor is guilty by reason of insanity of intentional or knowing murder and depraved indifference murder in the death of her husband, Richard Jeskey, 53, of Bangor on June 12, 2011.

Attorneys did not deliver oral closing arguments as they would have before a jury but will submit written closings to Hunter later this month. The judge is expected to issue his decision in late January.

Experts gave conflicting testimony Monday and Tuesday about whether Jeskey knew right from wrong the night she allegedly beat and strangled her husband. That is the standard the judge must use to determine if she is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jeskey told the judge Monday that she would not take the stand in her own defense.

Her trial began Dec. 16. The state rested Dec. 19, and the defense began its presentation Monday. The trial was recessed over the holidays.

The testimony of April O’Grady, director of psychological services at the University of Maine, who testified for the prosecution, contradicted that of neuropsychologist Richard Doiron , the only witness to testify for the defense Monday.

Doiron said that the effect of Jeskey’s brain surgery 10 years ago along with Jeskey’s mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder made it impossible for her to know right from wrong the night of June 12, 2011, when she allegedly killed her husband in the bathroom of the couple’s Ohio Street apartment.

O’Grady agreed that Jeskey’s cognitive skills were impaired because of the brain surgery and that she suffered from PTSD. She disagreed with Doiron’s mental illness diagnosis and his conclusion that she did not know right from wrong.

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.

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