Staff Writer

ALFRED – Prosecutors claim that Darlene George of Old Orchard Beach plotted her husband’s murder in June 2008 because she didn’t want to split the properties they owned, and because he was having an affair with a co-worker.

That co-worker, 30-year-old Amy Casey of Lebanon, took the stand Tuesday in the murder trial of George and her brother Jeffrey Williams in York County Superior Court.

The prosecution appears to be banking on Casey’s testimony to introduce motive into the murder case as the trial, now in its second week, nears its end.

Justice G. Arthur Brennan told jurors that he expects them to get the case for deliberation Thursday. Defense lawyers won’t say whether George or Williams will testify.

The most compelling testimony Tuesday came from Casey, who said she struck up a friendship with Winston George at their workplace, Whatman Inc. in Sanford. Around May 2007, Casey said, that friendship turned into something more.

“We had like a boyfriend-girlfriend type of relationship,” Casey told the jury.

She said she and George went to dance clubs almost every weekend. They would go to the beach, go out to dinner and sit in parking lots talking for hours, Casey said.

In the months before Winston George was killed, Casey said, she discussed with him her intention to get a divorce. Casey was tearful during the testimony and took long pauses to compose herself.

“Did you ever tell Winston you loved him?” asked the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese.

“Yes,” Casey said.

Casey also testified that Darlene George called her cell phone in August 2007, and the call was answered by Casey’s husband. Casey didn’t go into details, but she said the call caused problems in her household.

On June 20, 2008, Darlene George called 911 at 5:45 a.m. In that call and in subsequent interviews with investigators, she said three men wearing latex gloves and nylon stockings over their heads ambushed her and her 13-year-old son in their home at 56 Smithwheel Road.

George said the men tied them up and then attacked Winston George when he returned home from work after midnight.

Police found George’s body in the basement. He had been strangled with a rope and suffocated with a plastic bag. A rum bottle had been put in George’s mouth through a small hole in the plastic. He was 44 when he died.

Police and prosecutors say the home invasion was an elaborate ruse, set up by Darlene George and carried out by her lover, Rennie Cassimy, and her brother Jeffrey Williams, both of New York.

Cassimy has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. He testified against George and Williams last week.

Phone records show that Cassimy and Darlene George spoke to each other hundreds of times on cell phones and George’s work phone in the six months before the killing, and that George rented motel rooms for Cassimy in the Old Orchard Beach area during that period, including the nights of June 5 and 6, 2008.

Lawyers for George and Williams have suggested that Cassimy crafted a story implicating their clients to secure a plea deal from prosecutors and a recommended prison sentence of just eight years.

Also Tuesday, a DNA expert from the Maine State Police crime lab testified that Winston George’s blood, as expected, was found throughout the home on Smithwheel Road.

David Muniec also said there was a mixture of DNA — from Winston George and one or more other people — on fingernail clippings from George’s right hand.

But there wasn’t enough genetic material to extract a reliable DNA profile, Muniec said. He testified that he doesn’t believe the unidentified DNA from the clippings came from Cassimy or Williams, but he couldn’t be certain.

No evidence has been presented to suggest that George scratched his assailants or otherwise defended himself.

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

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