St. Francis man pleads not guilty to murder in connection with death of longtime girlfriend

Posted Aug. 22, 2014, at 1:45 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 22, 2014, at 5:11 p.m.
Jesse Marquis
Aroostook County Sheriff's Office
Jesse Marquis

CARIBOU, Maine — A St. Francis man pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Caribou Superior Court to a murder charge in connection with the death of his longtime girlfriend Amy Theriault, according to John Alsop of the Maine attorney general’s office.

Jesse Marquis, 39, was in court but remained silent as his attorneys Steven Smith and Dan Umphrey responded to the charge, according to Christina Hall, assistant Superior Court clerk.

The entire proceeding took around five minutes, she said.

Marquis’ attorneys have 90 days to file any pretrial motions. A status hearing on the case has been set for 9 a.m. on Dec. 18, Alsop said Friday afternoon.

“The status hearing will get the parties together and help move things along,” Alsop said, adding the trial should be scheduled soon after the hearing.

Alsop declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, May 31, about a domestic violence incident at 754 Main St. in St. Francis, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police.

Two witnesses in the home where Theriault lived told police that she had broken up with Marquis the day before and had asked them to stay with her the night of May 30. Both said they were asleep when Marquis entered the residence about 5 a.m. the next day. An affidavit filed by police does not provide details of what the two witnesses saw happen in the home, but does state they saw Marquis leave the residence and enter the woods behind the house with a rifle.

Theriault’s 8- and 12-year-old daughters were not home at the time of the shooting.

The state medical examiner ruled 31-year-old Theriault’s death a homicide. She died of a gunshot wound to the chest and multiple stab wounds to the chest and neck.

Marquis was the subject of one of the largest manhunts in northern Maine history and remained on the run for six days before he was captured about a mile from the crime scene after a bloodhound brought in from New Hampshire’s Stafford County Sheriff’s Department successfully led law enforcement to him.

Marquis remains held without bail at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

Any bail hearing would be at the request of his attorneys, Hall said.

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