HOULTON — A cousin of one of three people who were stabbed to death in Aroostook County in June 2010 was accused Tuesday of telling a juror to “hang” the man who’s on trial in the killings. He was charged with jury-tampering.

State police said Albert Gaudet of Standish made the hanging comment while holding a door for a juror in Aroostook County Superior Court, where Thayne Ormsby is on trial. The juror told a court official about the comment, and Gaudet was charged, police said.

Ormsby is accused of murdering Jeffrey Ryan, 55, his 10-year-old son, Jesse, and a family friend, Jason Dehahn, 30, at Ryan’s house in the northern Maine town of Amity. Each count carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Ormsby has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

The male juror told a court official that Gaudet said, “I hope you hang the bastard,” state police said.

The trial was delayed to allow attorneys for both sides to question the juror, who said he could remain impartial. He will remain on the jury.

State police Lt. Christopher Coleman then interviewed Gaudet, Dehahn’s cousin, before charging him with a felony punishable by as much as 10 years in prison, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland. It’s the first time in recent memory that anyone has been charged with jury-tampering during a state homicide trial, McCausland said.

Gaudet, 52, was freed on bail in the jury-tampering case. There is no phone listing for him. Jail officials didn’t have information on whether he had retained a lawyer.

In the trial, state police detectives testified Tuesday that they linked DNA found on three half-empty beer bottles and a cigarette at Ryan’s mobile home to Ormsby, 21, who was living with a couple in the nearby town of Orient at the time.

Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes told jurors Monday that Ormsby had a list of two people he wanted to kill, and that he went to Ryan’s home intending to kill him. Ormsby didn’t expect Ryan’s son or Dehahn to be there, Stokes said.

The second person on the list hasn’t been publicly mentioned in the case, and he was not physically harmed.

Defense attorney James Dunleavy told jurors he would put the events “into context” during the trial.

Jurors also heard graphic detail about the stabbings from former state Medical Examiner Dr. Marguerite DeWitt, who now teaches in Texas. She testified that the victims died of multiple stab wounds and appeared to be trying to elude their killer.

 


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