Rachel Owens raised her left hand instead of her right when she was sworn in to testify Wednesday during the second day of her husband’s federal trial on charges he shot her and a friend’s husband in Saco.

Owens said she has struggled to do simple tasks with her right hand, such as opening an envelope or bottle, since she was shot in the right arm, right leg and back of the head in her friends’ house on Hillview Avenue in Saco on Dec. 18, 2014.

“I have a bullet in my head,” Owens told jurors at the trial of her husband of 36 years, Gregory Owens, in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee then projected a photo on a screen for the jury showing where a bullet remains lodged in the back of Rachel Owens’ skull after hitting her and causing brain damage.

Gregory Owens is accused of breaking into the home of Steve and Carol Chabot, where his wife had been visiting, and shooting his wife while she was in bed in one room and then shooting Steve Chabot in another room while Carol Chabot hid in a third room.

Rachel Owens and Steve Chabot each were shot three times. Steve Chabot called 911 as he lay bleeding on the floor. Rachel Owens was in critical condition and wasn’t expected to survive when emergency workers arrived, police said.


“I need people to help me,” she said Wednesday under questioning by McElwee about her limitations since being shot.

The federal trial is the first of two cases that authorities have brought against Owens, 59, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, in connection with the shootings and break-in.

Owens also faces multiple state charges, including aggravated attempted murder. His trial on those charges in York County Superior Court in Alfred has not been scheduled, and depends in part on the outcome of the federal trial, which is expected to take more than two weeks.

Owens is charged with two federal counts: interstate domestic violence, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, punishable by up to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Owens is a former Army marksman who investigators believe tried to kill his wife after his girlfriend in Wisconsin threatened to expose their affair.

Rachel Owens testified Wednesday that she didn’t know her husband was having an affair before she was shot.


Police investigating the shooting pulled over Gregory Owens about three hours after the 911 call as he was driving his Hyundai Santa Fe in Hudson, New Hampshire. Investigators later collected DNA evidence from Owens that matched DNA on the outside door of the Chabots’ garage. They also collected DNA evidence from bloodstains on the steering wheel and armrest of Owens’ SUV and found wet boots in back, according to a report filed by FBI Agent Pamela Flick to obtain search warrants in the investigation.

The lead detective in the case, Saco police Deputy Chief Corey Huntress, testified that he arrived at the Chabots’ home around 3:31 a.m., less than 45 minutes after Steve Chabot called 911. When Huntress arrived, many officers already were on the scene and an ambulance crew was loading Rachel Owens onto a stretcher.

Huntress said the conditions were rainy, but he noticed footprints in a flowerbed that he covered with plastic to keep the evidence from being washed away.

State police Detective Christopher Farley testified Wednesday that he led a team of evidence technicians that found evidence of nine gunshots: three that hit Rachel Owens and six fired through the master bedroom door at Steve Chabot. They recovered eight shell casings and four bullets.

Farley also testified that he was able to find two hair fibers on the door to the garage, one on a broken window and the other on the inside of the door, on the deadbolt latch. He and his team collected both to be examined later at the Maine State Police Crime Lab.

Owens’ attorney, Sarah Churchill, denied the government’s allegations in her opening statement Tuesday. She said Owens cut his hand on a broken glass in his kitchen in New Hampshire while working overnight on a business contract proposal, and went out during the night in his vehicle to go to Dunkin’ Donuts.


“Greg Owens did not shoot his wife. Greg Owens did not shoot Steve Chabot. Greg Owens did not break into the Chabots’ home at 25 Hillview Avenue,” Churchill said.

She said the police timeline that asserts Owens drove in the night from Londonderry to Saco doesn’t make sense. She said it would have taken longer for Owens to drive that far, that highway video footage shows no sign of Owens’ vehicle, and that video footage from a Dunkin’ Donuts in New Hampshire shows he was there.

Police never recovered the gun used in the shooting, but said it was a 9 mm.

The trial is expected to continue through next week. McElwee has said she expects to call more than 30 witnesses. Churchill has indicated in court filings that she expects to call about 10 witnesses, including her own DNA expert, who may draw different conclusions from the government’s experts.

Witnesses are scheduled to continue testifying Thursday, including a New Hampshire police officer who interrogated Gregory Owens in the hours after the shooting.


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