November 28, 2012

Friends, family say murder suspect high on drugs day of killing

By Rachel Ohm
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN -- Robert Nelson was high on drugs the day Everett L. Cameron was murdered, friends and family testified Wednesday.

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Robert Nelson is led into Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan on Monday, for the first day of his trial in the shooting death of Everett L. Cameron.

Staff photo by David Leaming

It was the third day of Nelson's trial in Somerset County Superior Court on charges he shot Cameron to death in Anson on Oct. 31, 2009.

Witnesses Wednesday testified that Nelson had a drug problem that escalated that day at a birthday party for Nelson's four-year-old daughter.

"Up until that point he had kept it a secret that he was using drugs," said Allison MacMillon, Nelson's ex-girlfriend and his daugther's mother. "He wouldn't use them around his family. I hadn't seen him like that before. He was clearly not acting like a sober person."

She said she noticed when he arrived at the party that he was on drugs and spoke to him outside. He was falling asleep standing up and half of a white pill fell out of his pocket during their conversation, she said.

Ellen Howell, Nelson's aunt, testified she had a conversation with him that day about getting into a drug rehab program after seeing him play roughly with his daughter.

She said he was not belligerent or argumentative, but he appeared to be tired and didn't have control over his body. "He was obviously under the influence of drugs," she said.

A family friend, Amanda Shaw, said she and her boyfriend left the party early because they were uncomfortable with Nelson's behavior.

He stopped her before she got in her car to leave.

"I want you to know that whatever happens, I want to thank you," he said.

Shaw said she wasn't sure what he meant. She had talked to Nelson about getting help for his drug problem before and had loaned him money in the past, but she hadn't helped him with anything that day.

Nelson spent most of the day and the evening before with his then-girlfriend Katie White.

White, 21, testified on Wednesday that she lived with Nelson at the time. His weekly paycheck from Bruce A. Manzer Inc., a paving and construction company, was about $400 and most of it went to drugs, she said.

White said she knew Cameron supplied Nelson with oxycodone pills. They met three or four times a month on Town Farm Road in Anson, the road where Cameron was found dead from a gunshot wound in his pickup truck. White said Nelson would usually get one or two 30 miligram pills from Cameron when the two met.

On the day of the murder, White said she and Nelson went to Starks to cut wood for a friend around 9 a.m. She said while they were there, Nelson snorted Xanax.

She said they returned to their home on Horseback Road in Anson around 1:30 p.m. and she helped Nelson prepare for his daughter's birthday party.

White said Nelson left around 2 p.m. She saw he'd forgot part of the present, so she called and texted him, but he didn't answer. White said he came back to the house about fifteen minutes later and told her he met with Cameron and paid him money he owed.

Earlier this week a recording was played of Nelson's interview with police in which he said that he met with Cameron, but hadn't paid him. Police estimate that Cameron was killed sometime between 2 p.m. and when his body was found at 4 p.m.

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