The murder trial of a Presque Isle pawnshop owner is underway – on Tuesday the state prosecutor and the defense presented their opening arguments in the case of 76-year-old George Jaime, and witnesses took the stand.
Accused killer George Jaime Sr. entered Houlton Superior Court in a wheelchair moments before his trial begins. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson as he gave his opening remarks, calling what allegedly happened between Jaime and Starlette Vining an “extremely sad story.” Jaime is charged with intentional or knowing murder of Vining, who was last seen fifteen years ago.
Benson calls the relationship between Jaime and Vining in 1998 a toxic one that he alleges ultimately lead to her death. Benson stated that one night in a drunken rage, Jaime and Vining were in a fight and he stabbed her several times in the torso, and then beat her on the head with the bottom of the knife. Information that came from none other than Jaime’s son, Ted Jaime…who took the witness stand to testify against his father. Jaime stated that his father came to his home the night he allegedly killed Vining, and told him he had “done something bad”. Jaime told the court he went back to the pawnshop with his father that night and saw a lifeless, bloody Star Vining. He covered her in a blanket and came back the next day to help with the cleanup, and the body had been moved downstairs. Weeks later he said he and his father drove to Westfield, where he dumped ashes that he said were Vining’s into a stream, and after that, Jaime asked his son and a friend to help clean out a boiler in his basement.
Ted Jaime didn’t tell State Police about what happened until the summer of 2012. Defense attorney Jeff Silverstein pointed out some inconsistencies in his story, and suggested that he turned his father in as a means of self-preservation. Silverstein also draws a picture of an incomplete stool, saying the case lacks. forensic evidence,.
Other witnesses included Donna Nelson, former supervisor of the bakery at the Smythe’s IGA that Vining worked at at the time before her disappearance, and Frederick Donnatelli, who used to rent an apartment from Jaime.
The trial continues Wednesday and is expected to last through the end of the week. News Source 8 will of course keep you updated day by day.