CARIBOU, Maine — Jamie Pelletier tearfully recalled Wednesday how she desperately tried to save her friend Amy Theriault two years ago after the 31-year-old mother of two was stabbed multiple times and then shot.
Pelletier testified during the murder trial of Jesse Marquis, the man accused of killing Theriault on May 31, 2014, that she and her boyfriend stayed at Theriault’s house in St. Francis the night of May 30. Theriault’s young daughters were away for the night.
Pelletier’s boyfriend, Joshua Pelletier, told jurors that during the early morning hours of May 31 he awoke from sleeping in a recliner in Theriault’s living room to find Marquis “running in the house with a knife in his hand.”
Joshua Pelletier said he told Marquis to leave and lunged at the man, at which point Marquis swung at him with the knife, causing Pelletier to fall back into the recliner. He said Marquis then headed into Theriault’s bedroom, where she had been sleeping.
Jamie Pelletier said she was sleeping on the living room sofa when she was awakened by a “big thud and a scream.”
As Jamie Pelletier went toward Theriault’s bedroom to see what was happening, her boyfriend pulled her away and told her to call 911. That call came in at 5:45 a.m., according to police.
While on the phone, Pelletier walked back toward the bedroom and described what she saw.
“Amy was on the floor and Jesse was hovered over her,” she recalled for jurors Wednesday. “It looked like he was holding her but hitting her at the same time. I tried to get close but then I saw a gun. Jesse had the gun. He followed me out of the bedroom and he had the gun held on me.”
At that point, Marquis left the home and ran into the woods, touching off an intensive six-day manhunt that ended with his capture in St. Francis about a mile from Theriault’s home, according to police. He was indicted on the murder charge in July 2014 and has been held at the county jail since his arrest.
During cross-examination by Marquis’ attorney Stephen Smith on Wednesday, Jamie Pelletier clarified that she did not see Jesse Marquis enter the residence or shoot Theriault.
Prosecutor John Alsop also played seven minutes of the 911 call for the jury.
“Please help,” Jamie Pelletier can be heard crying into the phone. “She’s not moving and she’s not responding.”
“I’m scared; I’m so scared,” Pelletier said frantically as she relayed to 911 operator Christopher Lavoie that Marquis “has a loaded gun. He took off outside.”
Theriault’s mother, Barbara Theriault, and sister Pam Dubois wiped away a steady stream of tears as they sat in the courtroom listening to the recording of the 911 call. Amy Theriault’s father, Rick Theriault, kept his arm around his wife.
Jamie Pelletier testified that after Marquis left the house, she administered CPR to Theriault until paramedics arrived and “they pulled me off.”
Paramedic Mike Dumond testified that he arrived at the home about 25 minutes after the 911 call came in.
Dumond said he witnessed Jamie Pelletier performing CPR on Theriault and that he also saw “a very, very large amount of blood.”
After determining Theriault was deceased, Dumond said he tried to convince Jamie Pelletier to stop performing CPR.
“I had to fight with her to do that. She didn’t want to give up,” he said.
When questioned by Smith, Dumond affirmed he was not wearing shoe coverings at the time and likely left bloody footprints at the crime scene.
Marquis, dressed in a blue shirt and black tie, displayed little emotion during Wednesday’s testimony. He kept his eyes on several sheets of paper on the defense table and continuously wrote on them with a pen.
Dr. Kristin Sweeney, medical examiner for the state, testified Wednesday afternoon that Amy Theriault died as a result of a gunshot wound and stab wounds to the chest. She said two of the 11 knife wounds inflicted upon Theriault were life-threatening, but that it was difficult to determine where many of the knife wounds terminated because of the severity of the damage caused by the gunshot, which she said was a contact wound, meaning the weapon was pressed against Theriault when fired.
Sweeney testified that knife wounds on the palm side of Amy Theriault’s fingers could be classified as “defense wounds.” She told jurors that Theriault tested negative for alcohol.
After the medical examiner’s testimony, Judge Allen Hunter recessed court for the day. The state will resume its case against Jesse Marquis at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Alsop said he plans to call six more witnesses.
“Our family only asks that the community pray for justice for Amy,” Barbara Theriault said in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Hope & Justice Project, which serves people affected by domestic violence in Aroostook County.
“We are here if anyone — especially friends and family of Amy — needs any emotional support throughout the trial,” said Desiree Chasse, associate director of the nonprofit organization. Free and confidential services are available by calling the 24-hour help line at 800-439-2323.