ALFRED — The wife of John Durfee, the alternate suspect at the murder trial of Jason Twardus, testified this morning that her husband did not sexually harass or threaten a former tenant of theirs.

Nancy Durfee said she evicted Roxy Labonte from an apartment on their property in Alfred because she was not paying the rent, not because Labonte complained about John Durfee’s behavior.

“She threatened me. She said she wasn’t moving out because she knew the system,” Nancy Durfee told the jury.

Labonte testified earlier this week that she was terrified of Durfee because he groped her, made lewd comments, and one time threatened to take her into the woods, rape her and leave her for dead. Labonte said Nancy Durfee forced her to leave after she made a complaint.

Throughout the trial, now in its third week at York County Superior Court, defense attorney Daniel Lilley has suggested that Durfee killed Kelly Gorham and framed her ex-fiance Jason Twardus.

Gorham was the next tenant to move into the Durfee’s apartment after Labonte moved out. Gorham was last seen alive at the apartment in Alfred on Aug. 7, 2007. Police found her body Sept. 2 on a remote piece of land owned by Twardus’ father in the northern New Hampshire town of Stewartstown.

Labonte was a key witness for Lilley as he built his case that Durfee, an admitted PCP addict, was capable of committing the crime.

Nancy Durfee bristled this morning when Lilley asked her if her husband ever suggested to Gorham that she could work off some of her rent by performing sexual favors.

“Never,” Durfee said. “Mr. Lilley come on, let’s not make this into a soap opera.”

“It’s not a soap opera ma’am, it’s a serious murder case,” Lilley said.

Justice G. Arthur Brennan interrupted and asked Lilley to move on.

Twardus, 29, of Rochester, N.H., testified Tuesday and denied any role in Gorham’s disappearance or death.

Prosecutors claim Twardus was not able to move on after Gorham broke off their engagement and kicked him out of the apartment. He allegedly strangled the 30-year-old nursing student.

The evidence against Twardus includes inconsistent statements he gave to detectives; a surveillance tape from a convenience store near Stewartstown, which prosecutors say shows Twardus and his vehicle on the day Gorham went missing; Twardus’ fingerprints on a photograph and a plastic bag that was buried with Gorham; and one of Gorham’s hairs that was found in the trunk of his car.

The jury is expected to get the case for deliberation sometime tomorrow.