ALFRED – Jason Twardus is making a bid for another trial based on what his attorneys say is information that has emerged about the two men his defense had cast as alternate suspects in the 2007 murder of Twardus’ former fiancee, Kelly Gorham.

Twardus was convicted in October 2010 of strangling the 30-year-old nursing student at her home in Alfred before burying her body at a Stewartstown, N.H., property owned by his father. During his trial, the state argued that he could not accept their broken engagement and that he became jealous when she got involved with another man.

The defense tried to persuade the jury that John Durfee, Gorham’s landlord, and Calvin DeGreenia, who worked for Durfee and lived on the property, killed Gorham and framed Twardus, 30, for the crime. The men are believed to be among the last to see Gorham alive.

Twardus’ attorneys say Durfee — who died in August 2011 —  made incriminating statements to another York County Jail inmate, but that prosecutors did not disclose that information to the defense in a timely manner.

“It’s a confession to being an accomplice. Part of the problem is now that he’s deceased we can’t interview him, can’t call him to the stand,” said Darrick Banda, one of Twardus’ attorneys.

The other inmate, Kenneth Villella, told a Maine State Police trooper in June 2011 that Durfee knew “how to bury people” and said that if anything happened to Villella, “we can put them in a shallow grave.” In a second interview with a detective in October 2011, Villella said Durfee told him that he had in some way helped dispose of Gorham’s body but that Villella couldn’t remember the name of the other person Durfee said was involved because so much time had passed. Villella, who was not a witness in the hearing Monday, also allegedly said Durfee told him Gorham’s body had been wrapped in a blanket belonging to Durfee’s daughter.

Defense lawyer Daniel Lilley said his office was only informed of the first interview in October 2011 and the second in December 2011. While Twardus had already been convicted by that time, a previous motion for a new trial was pending at the time of the first interview in June. The previous motion for a new trial was unsuccessful.

On Monday, Lilley called the prosecutor in the case, Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, to the stand to question him about the lag between the interviews and whether the delay was because the evidence was favorable to the defense.

Stokes said that it can take weeks or even months to receive written reports about such interviews and that he sent them to Lilley within days of getting them himself. He also said that the information did not seem first-hand and that police had followed up on the blanket tip and Durfee’s daughters denied that it was theirs.

Stokes said later that it was “quite a stretch” to equate Villella’s statements to a confession by Durfee.

“Did we hear from Villella? Did they call Villella?” Stokes asked. “Enough said.”

Twardus’ attorneys are also presenting information about DeGreenia’s arrest for trying to strangle his live-in girlfriend in Nashua, N.H., in March 2011. DeGreenia pleaded guilty to simple assault and domestic violence assault in that case. The lawyers argued that authorities in Maine, who had worked in cooperation with counterparts in New Hampshire on the DeGreenia case, should have disclosed the incident to them.

Lilley, who said he learned about it through an email from a concerned individual, asked Stokes to look into the case and obtain additional information.

Stokes said he declined because Lilley knew more about it than he did and had just as much access to the information.

“They can obtain the information just as easily as I can. I don’t feel any obligation to be their detective agency,” he said.

It’s not clear when Justice G. Arthur Brennan will rule. The hearing is in recess because DeGreenia, who was subpoenaed as a witness, cannot be found. He failed to appear for a New Hampshire court date and there is a warrant for his arrest.

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

Twitter: AnnKimPPH