ALFRED — Patrick Dapolito got up without disturbing his wife, who was asleep on the floor of their bathroom. He went to the lake where he stored his cocaine, snorted a line or two and went to a store to pick up some Camel Lights.

He may have gone in and out of the store twice, getting coffee one time and cigarettes the other. It’s possible that he did some more cocaine before going back to his home on Mike’s Way in Limington.

When Dapolito went to wake his wife, she was dead.

“A series of things happened” after that, he testified Tuesday as he wiped at his eyes. “It was a long time ago. Things I like to forget. I freaked out, I remember that.”

On Tuesday, the jury in Dapolito’s murder trial heard him recount the events of March 16, 2010, and the days that followed.

The prosecution has framed Kelly Winslow’s shooting death as a domestic-violence homicide. The defense says Winslow, 30, was the victim of a dispute between Dapolito and associates in his marijuana distribution business.

Dapolito initially told authorities that he had a gun in his right hand when they went to sleep on their bathroom floor, and that the sound of the gun firing woke him.

Prosecutors say Dapolito’s story changed only after a trajectory analysis indicated that the shooting could not have happened as he described.

Dapolito denies that there was any violence in their household.

“Not ever, ever, ever,” he said on the witness stand in York County Superior Court. “If I had ever struck Kelly even once, she would have left.”

His lawyer, David Van Dyke, has said that Dapolito didn’t talk about his drug business until his oldest daughter disclosed it to Van Dyke, and after Dapolito realized that authorities knew about it.

Dapolito testified Tuesday that he initially decided to “fall on my sword.”

When he discovered Winslow’s body, he said, he saw his gun next to her. He last remembered seeing it in a stack of jeans in a closet. His laptop was on their bed, displaying the message “We shall return.”

Photographs of his and Winslow’s children had been placed on the freezer in the basement.

Dapolito put his wife’s body in the freezer, worried about what his 13-year-old daughter might see, he said.

He said he contemplated suicide twice that day. He sat in the tub with the gun, but didn’t want his daughter to discover his body. He thought about taking his life at the lake, but decided against it after talking to his father.

Dapolito was communicating with his father, who may have contacted his brother. He said he hadn’t told either one that Winslow was dead, but it was clear that he was distraught.

Dapolito’s father told him that whatever was wrong, it could be fixed, he testified. They agreed that Dapolito would fly to Florida, as he had been planning to do the next day, and that they would drive back to Maine together, he said.

Dapolito’s brother arrived at the home, and Dapolito put Winslow’s body in his brother’s truck. He told his brother to take his daughter home with him.

Dapolito took the body to his parents’ property in Upton, in western Maine. Authorities later found the body under a tarp weighted down with pieces of wood.

“I promised her I’d be back in three days,” Dapolito testified.

Dapolito never got to Florida. He eventually met with an ex-girlfriend and her family, who put him in contact with a lawyer, then surrendered to police.

As she cross-examined Dapolito, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said the killer must have quietly found the gun, collected photos to put on the freezer and left a message on the computer within the time of Dapolito’s trip to the store.

“You have to admit, it sounds absurd,” she said.

“I don’t know how it sounds, it just is what it is” Dapolito replied.

Marchese also said Dapolito withheld information about his drug activities.

“You had no desire for us to track down this drug stuff, because you knew it wouldn’t support your theory (of the dispute) in any way, shape or form,” she said.

“That’s not correct,” he answered.

The cross-examination is expected to continue this morning.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]


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