ALFRED – Jason Twardus was in one of two places on Aug. 8, 2007.

He was either at his home in Rochester, N.H., napping, watching the History Channel and playing video games, as he told police, or he was about 160 miles to the north, burying the body of his former fiancee on a remote piece land owned by his father.

If the jurors in his murder trial believe Twardus, they will acquit him, likely reigniting a debate about who killed 30-year-old Kelly Gorham three years ago.

If they side with prosecutors, Twardus, 29, will be found guilty and face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The jury’s decision could come as early as this afternoon. The lawyers are expected to make closing arguments this morning, then Justice G. Arthur Brennan will give the jurors legal instructions and send them off for deliberations.

The state’s case took two weeks to present, and consisted of a collection of circumstantial evidence against Twardus.

Perhaps the most significant piece of evidence is the location of Gorham’s body, on Brian Twardus’ property in Stewartstown, N.H., where Jason Twardus and Gorham had visited one year earlier, before she broke off their engagement.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes also focused on inconsistent statements that Twardus made to detectives, and a surveillance tape recorded around noon on Aug. 8, 2007. Prosecutors say the tape shows Twardus at the Big Apple store in Colebrook, N.H., the closest town to Stewartstown.

In defending Twardus, Daniel Lilley’s strategy was to introduce an alternative suspect, Gorham’s landlord, John Durfee, and a possible accomplice, an employee of Durfee named Calvin DeGreenia.

Durfee and DeGreenia, who was romantically involved with Gorham in the week before her disappearance, testified that they had dinner with her on the night of Aug. 7, 2008. Gorham’s supervisor at Maine Medical Center reported her missing when she didn’t show up for work the next day.

Lilley claims that Durfee took a map with handwritten directions to the land in Stewartstown from a binder in Gorham’s apartment in Alfred.

On Wednesday, the final day of testimony, Lilley continued to hammer away at Durfee’s character and state of mind after Gorham’s disappearance.

A medical assistant at Goodall Hospital in Sanford testified about Durfee’s bizarre behavior during a visit to the hospital on Aug. 16, 2007, eight days after Gorham disappeared.

The assistant said that Durfee was agitated, and grabbed her arm and wouldn’t let go when she tried to take his blood pressure.

“I tried to get away,” she said. “He bent down to, like, kiss my arm. When he did he, like, dragged his lower lip along my arm.”

She said Durfee then made a comment about wanting to have her hair. Sanford police looked into the incident but the woman declined to press charges. Durfee’s doctor told him that he could no longer be his patient.

Nancy Durfee, John Durfee’s wife, also testified. She defended her husband and refuted testimony earlier this week by Roxy Labonte, who rented the apartment from the Durfees immediately before Gorham.

Labonte said she was terrified of Durfee because he groped her, made lewd comments, and once talked about taking her into the woods, raping her and leaving her for dead. Labonte said Nancy Durfee forced her to leave after she made a complaint.

Nancy Durfee said she evicted Labonte from the apartment because she was not paying the rent.

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

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 Wednesday when Lilley asked if her husband ever suggested to Gorham that she could work off some of her rent with 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.

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

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