November 28, 2012

Defense: Maine policeman's testimony doesn't add up

A lawyer for Robert Nelson says initial police actions suggest his client wasn't a serious suspect.in Everett Cameron's murder.

By RACHEL OHM Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN – The Anson man who is accused of the murder of Everett L. Cameron in 2009 had little reaction to the death when police told him about it the day it happened, according to court testimony Tuesday.

Robert Nelson, 41, was "kind of stone-faced" when told of Cameron's death in October 2009, state police Detective Mike Mitchell testified in Somerset County Superior Court.

Mitchell also testified that police threatened Nelson with drug and other tests while seeking a confession from him that day.

"I was looking for a confession and wanted him to be honest with me," Mitchell said.

Philip Mohlar, one of two defense attorneys, said he was confused about why Mitchell was so convinced of Nelson's guilt when a tape-recorded interview from that night revealed that police did not search him for drugs or a gun. The recording, which was played in court beginning Monday, also revealed that the police search of his home that night was brief.

Katrina Allen, Nelson's cousin, testified that she and some of her family went to Nelson's house a few days after the shooting to ask him about it.

She said he seemed defensive and irritated that they were there.

Witnesses from the state crime lab and the state police testified Tuesday on the nature of Cameron's death, reporting that he was shot at close range with a .30-caliber bullet and the shooting did not appear to have been a suicide.

Cameron was found in his pickup truck around 4:20 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2009, with a gunshot wound under his left eye. His truck was parked on Town Farm Road in North Anson, just down the road from his home.

Cameron was selling oxycodone pills he was receiving by prescription to help treat lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with in 2002.

Margaret Greenwald, Maine's chief medical examiner, testified that she had been told by a police officer that Cameron had a history of depression, but since no gun was found in his vehicle police had ruled out suicide.

She said that, based on the condition of Cameron's body at the scene, he died sometime between noon and 3 or 4 p.m. Nelson has admitted he met with Cameron around 2 p.m.

Greenwald said the jagged irregularities on the edges of the gunshot wound and the presence of soot from the gun on Cameron's face were evidence that he was shot at close range.

The court also heard testimony from residents of the area who were around Town Farm Road on the day Nelson was killed.

Henry Etsy Jr., 47, of Campground Road in North Anson said he drove past Cameron's truck parked on Town Farm Road around 2:30 p.m.

He said he saw Nelson's car, which has a driver's side door that is darker than the rest of the body, parked in front of the truck and a man standing by the car who he said he later recognized as Nelson.

 

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

rohm@mainetoday.com

 

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