PORTLAND – Testifying in his murder trial Friday, William Hanaman said he woke up in his truck in a grocery store parking lot on Nov. 10, 2009, with his hands shaking and his clothes covered with blood.

“I sat there for a while,” he said. “I knew something terrible had happened.”

Hanaman told the jury that the last thing he remembered, before waking up, was a frightening confrontation with his girlfriend, Marion Shea, in his apartment on Ocean Avenue. He said they had argued over her abuse of prescription pills.

“I seen flashes. I seen the anger in her face. I remember something shiny in her hand,” he testified.

Hanaman said he recalls feeling scared, and a gut instinct told him to go for the object in Shea’s hand, and then he blacked out. After waking up outside the Shaw’s supermarket on Washington Avenue, Hanaman said, he drove to his apartment and found Shea’s body on his bedroom floor.

The 47-year-old mother of five had been stabbed eight times. Hanaman realized that he had killed her.

“I couldn’t believe what happened. I was mad at her at first, and then I was mad at myself,” said Hanaman, who was on the stand for 3½ hours Friday in Cumberland County Superior Court. “I just wanted her to move back home. I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t want her to die.”

With closing arguments expected Monday, the trial appears to hinge on a single question: Do the jurors believe Hanaman’s story that Shea came at him with the knife?

If they do, he could be acquitted. If not, they will likely convict the 52-year-old handyman, who would then face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, said during her opening statement Tuesday that Hanaman’s self-defense claim is absurd. Shea died from stab wounds to her chest, abdomen, left arm and buttocks, and the back of her legs.

The cuts showed that Shea was trying to defend herself and get away from Hanaman, Zainea said. On cross-examination of Hanaman on Friday, Zainea hammered away at his story.

“Why did you need to stab her eight times to defend yourself?” Zainea asked.

“I can’t honestly tell you. I don’t remember,” Hanaman said, sobbing.

“You didn’t need to stab her, did you?” the prosecutor pressed.

“Of course I know that now. I know I didn’t need to,” Hanaman said. “I wish I just let her stab me. I’ve got to live with this for the rest of my life.”

Throughout most of his testimony, Hanaman’s eyes were closed and he covered his face with a hand. He appeared to break down sobbing and moaning several times, and Justice Thomas Warren twice called for breaks at points when Hanaman was not able to answer questions.

The judge repeatedly asked Hanaman to move his hand away from his face so the jury and the court stenographer could hear him.

Shea and Hanaman dated for about a year. On Oct. 7, 2009, about a month before the killing, Hanaman was charged with domestic assault against Shea. He said she injured her eye when she assaulted him, he pushed her away and she hit her head on a bookcase.

Hanaman was freed on bail; one of the conditions prohibited him from having any contact with Shea. But the two continued to see each other.

On the stand Friday, Hanaman blamed the violence in their relationship on Shea, and said it was fueled by her abuse of prescription painkillers.

He said he took Shea to his apartment on Nov. 10, 2009, with the intent of bringing her and boxes of her belongings to her son’s house in Gorham. Instead, he testified, they ended up in a fight over the drugs.

Hanaman said he had a plastic bag filled with her empty prescription bottles and straws, and he planned to use it in court to defend himself against the domestic assault charge. He said they fought over the bag, it ripped apart and the bottles fell to the bedroom floor. That’s when he says he saw the “shiny object” and blacked out.

Later on the night of Nov. 10, Hanaman covered Shea’s body with a blanket and put a pillow under her head. He lit candles around the apartment, wrote a suicide note to his sister and overdosed on oxycodone pills that he said he found in Shea’s jacket.

“I swallowed them as fast as I could, and as many as I could,” Hanaman testified. “I was thinking maybe we’d wake up in heaven together and find out why this happened.”

The next morning, based on a phone call from Hanaman’s sister, who was concerned, police used bolt cutters to get into his apartment. They found him barely breathing, lying on the bedroom floor with his arm draped over Shea. He eventually regained consciousness at Maine Medical Center.

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

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