December 14, 2018
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Bridgewater killing is Maine’s fourth homicide of 2018, police say

Maine State Police | BDN
Maine State Police | BDN
James Peaslee, 37, of Easton

An Easton man was charged with murder in connection with the Wednesday death of a Bridgewater man, according to the Maine State Police.

James Peaslee, 37, was arrested early Thursday morning in connection with the death of Paul Hilenski, 79, of Bridgewater, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about 6 p.m. Wednesday from Hilenski’s Boundary Line Road home, McCausland said.

When Aroostook deputies and state police arrived at his home, they found Hilenski dead inside, according to McCausland.

After the discovery, the sheriff’s office in a 6:21 p.m. post on its Facebook page asked area residents to remain in their homes and lock their doors during the early hours of the investigation. Shortly after 10 p.m., the sheriff’s office lifted the order.

McCausland said Peaslee was arrested about 1 a.m. Thursday while driving on the West Ridge Road in Easton.

Peaslee was taken to the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton. His vehicle was secured and transported to the state police barracks in Houlton.

McCausland said investigators planned to search Hilenski’s and Peaslee’s residences Thursday.

An autopsy on Hilenski was scheduled for Thursday at the Maine medical examiner’s office in Augusta.

McCausland confirmed in an email to the Bangor Daily News Thursday morning that the Bridgewater killing is the fourth homicide of 2018 — including a murder-suicide in Temple and a homicide each in Bangor and Portland.

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Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that James Peaslee was transported to the state police barracks in Houlton. Only his vehicle was.

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