SKOWHEGAN – Jurors on Thursday watched a videotaped walk-through of a home in Pittston as investigators saw it hours after a father and daughter were maimed by a machete-wielding intruder.

The silent video begins with the bucolic exterior of the multilevel, yellow-sided house, a pool yet to be opened for the season, and a garage with a car in one bay and household items in another.

Inside, the camera follows trails of dark red blood on brown print carpeting, wood and tile floors. Ceilings show gash marks. Light-colored walls show large spots of brown, dried blood.

Blood soaks a dark green material on the floor outside the upstairs bedroom of Nicole Guerrette. Blood is pooled outside the master bedroom. It seeps through the floor into the ceiling below and drops onto the music keyboard in another daughter’s room.

After watching the video, the jurors in Somerset County Superior Court heard four members of the Guerrette family testify about what they experienced in their home on May 28, 2008.

It was the opening day of the trial of Daniel Fortune, 22, of Augusta, one of two men who were charged with committing the home invasion. He faces charges of aggravated attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft and conspiracy to commit robbery, among other offenses.

Leo R. Hylton, 20, of Augusta pleaded guilty to charges related to the attack and was sentenced Feb. 26 to spend 50 years in prison.

Fortune and Hylton are foster brothers who shared an apartment at the time the attack occurred. Investigators say the pair planned the attack on William Guerrette’s home to get bail money for a charge against Fortune and to get Guerrette to drop an earlier theft charge against Fortune.

On Thursday, Fortune’s attorney, Pamela Ames, said her client went along for the ride from Augusta to Pittston and even showed Hylton the way, but went into the house only to bring out his foster brother. “The police got their man. They arrested Leo Hylton,” Ames said. “Leo Hylton said, ‘I’m the man who did it. I did it all.’ “

Ames said in her opening statement that Hylton admitted to the attack in a letter to the Guerrette family, in which Hylton wrote, “My weakness, my need to help those I love, my unwavering loyalty has caused all this senseless pain.”

Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley said Fortune’s theft of more than $100,000 worth of property from the Guerrettes’ home on Nov. 17, 2007, was the catalyst for the home invasion.

Ames agreed that Fortune had committed that theft.

All four Guerrette family members who testified talked of being awakened by their new home security system siren and a loud computerized voice repeating “Intruder. Intruder. Please leave immediately. The authorities are responding.”

They thought it was a false alarm — a frequent occurrence — but William Guerrette, then 48, got up to investigate, just before 2 a.m.

His wife, Melanie, testified that she knew something was wrong when she heard him scream and saw him return almost immediately to the bedroom — clutching the left side of his head, which was bleeding — and begin searching the closet for his gun.

When he left the room, she testified, she locked the doors, climbed out a bathroom window and ran through the woods to get help.

Nicole Guerrette, now 12, testified that she came out of her bedroom to see what was wrong and heard her father tell her to go back. She said she blacked out, and later found herself in her bed, telling police her name and hearing them say they would get her out.

Nicole responded to the prosecutor’s questions Thursday in a clear, confident voice. She wore her brown hair long, with two long pinkish scars visible on the left side of her face. She spent more than three weeks hospitalized, and has permanent brain damage, her mother testified.

Her brother, Ryan Guerrette, now 20, testified that he and Fortune had been friends and baseball and basketball teammates at Gardiner Area High School. He also said Fortune was a frequent visitor to the home and had attended a party he had hosted while the rest of his family was out of state.

That was when William Guerrette’s safe was stolen, according to court documents.

The trial is scheduled to continue today.


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