Jurors in the federal trial of Gregory Owens watched video Thursday of police interrogating Owens just hours after police say he broke into a house in Saco and tried to kill his wife and a family friend.

The video, which is nearly 3½ hours long, shows police in Owens’ hometown of Londonderry, New Hampshire, questioning him before they fully understood what happened in the Maine shooting on Dec. 18, 2014, and before they knew that both victims would survive.

Owens, a retired Army marksman, displayed a military bearing through much of the video, addressing police officers as “sir” and asking officers about the “status” of his wounded wife, Rachel Owens. But the video also shows him at times apparently overcome by emotion, wiping away tears, and later growing increasingly impatient when police leave him alone in the room, once for about 40 minutes.

Prosecutors played the video as Londonderry police Sgt. Nicholas Pinardi testified during the third day of Owens’ trial.

Owens is accused of breaking into the Saco home of Steve and Carol Chabot, whom his wife was visiting. He allegedly shot his wife while she was in bed, and then shot Steve Chabot in another room, while Carol Chabot hid in a third room. Investigators believe Owens tried to kill his wife after his girlfriend in Wisconsin threatened to expose their affair.

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.

The federal trial is the first of two cases against Owens, 59, in connection with the Saco shootings and break-in.

He 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 last more than two weeks.

Steve Chabot testified Tuesday that he was awakened and came face-to-face with a masked gunman running up the stairs to the second floor of his home at 25 Hillview Ave. After being shot, he called 911 at 2:47 a.m. from his bedroom closet as he bled from several wounds.

That 911 call begins a timeline that Owens’ attorney, Sarah Churchill, has said doesn’t add up. But authorities say Owens had time to get from New Hampshire to Maine and back after the shooting and still make two runs to New Hampshire coffee shops.

Pinardi, the Londonderry police sergeant, testified he first encountered Owens around 5:30 a.m. after police had detained and handcuffed him in the parking lot of a gas station/coffee shop on the Londonderry/Hudson line.

Pinardi said that when he told Owens that his wife had been shot in Maine, Owens appeared to suffer from some sort of medical condition.

“He fainted. He went limp, shut his eyes, shook a little,” Pinardi said. “He told me several times that he couldn’t breathe. He was having a heart attack.”

After Owens regained his breath and was checked by an ambulance crew, police took him to the Londonderry police station to be interviewed by Pinardi, a New Hampshire State Police trooper and later by a Saco detective.

In the video, Owens is seated on a couch and starts asking questions as soon as New Hampshire Trooper Marc Beaudoin enters the room.

“Status of my wife,” Owens asks.

“She’s at the hospital right now. She’s alive,” Beaudoin answers.

“Thank you, Jesus,” Owens said. “Prognosis?”

Police said they were still trying to find out.

In the video, Owens told police that he was working late at home in New Hampshire on a business contract proposal that night, and had driven to a gas station on the Londonderry/Hudson line for a soda and cigarettes sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. He said he went to bed, but got up again around 2:30 a.m. to make a change to the proposal on his computer, then slept until sometime after 4 a.m., when he went to Dunkin’ Donuts. He said he returned to the gas station convenience store again around 5:30 a.m. for a second coffee. That’s when he was stopped by police and handcuffed.

Pinardi said under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Chapman that Owens was free to leave at any time during the questioning.

However, toward the end of the video shown Thursday, Owens tells police he plans to drive to Maine to see his wife. Officers tell him he can’t because police had impounded both of Owens’ vehicles and impounded his house as they prepared search warrants.

Pinardi is scheduled to return to the witness stand Friday, when jurors will watch the final 15 minutes of the interrogation video, to answer more questions from Chapman and then to be cross-examined by Churchill.

The trial is expected to continue through next week.


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