Jury selection began Wednesday, and is likely to be completed today, in the murder trial of an Old Orchard Beach woman and her brother.

Darlene George and Jeffrey Williams are accused of plotting and carrying out the killing of George’s husband, Winston George, 44, at the couple’s home on June 20, 2008.

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in York County Superior Court in Alfred, said the state prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese.

Winston George was tied up, strangled and suffocated in the basement of his home on Smithwheel Road, police say. A rum bottle was shoved down his throat, and a plastic bag was put over his head.

A third man charged in the crime, Rennie Cassimy of New York, pleaded guilty in January to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Cassimy agreed to a sentence of eight years in prison, and will likely be deported to Trinidad and Tobago after serving his sentence.

Cassimy is expected to be the key witness against George and Williams in the trial. Cassimy says he had a long affair with George and they conspired with Williams to kill Winston George and make it look like a home invasion by strangers.

During his plea hearing in January, Cassimy said that he and Williams rode from New York to Maine by bus on June 19, 2008. The men had masks allegedly purchased by Darlene George, who took her teenage son out shopping that night.

Prosecutors say Giovanni George is prepared to testify that when he and his mother returned home around 10:30 p.m., two men wearing masks grabbed them and tied them up with bedsheets. The boy heard his father come into the house and fight with the two men, then didn’t hear his father again.

Darlene George freed herself and her son from the sheets and called 911 around 5:45 p.m. She reported that two men had robbed her family with guns and knives, prosecutors say.

Darlene George stood to benefit from a $70,000 life insurance policy and from properties that she owned with her husband, according to court documents.

The trial had been scheduled for March, but it was pushed back after Cassimy pleaded guilty to give the lawyers more time to prepare.

If they are convicted of murder, George and Williams will face 25 years to life in prison.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

[email protected]