November 10, 2013

Skowhegan woman connected to New Hampshire murder indicted, awaiting court hearing

Michele D. Corson, 44, is charged in the indictments as an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A Skowhegan woman charged in connection with the New Hampshire murder of her brother’s former wife has been indicted by a grand jury on three charges and awaits a December hearing in court.

Michele D. Corson, 44, is charged in the indictments handed down Oct. 4 as an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension, New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said recently.

Corson, a mother of three grown children who managed a now closed consignment shop in Skowhegan, is accused of having a role in the death of Amanda Warf on March 7.

Warf, 36, was the former wife of Corson’s brother, Aaron Desjardins, 36, of Epping, N.H., who is charged with murder.

Corson is accused of taking a gun from Skowhegan to New Hampshire to help her brother commit murder, Morrell said.

“A text message was sent to Michele directing her to bring the gun from Maine down to new Hampshire to assist in the homicide,” Morrell said earlier this year. “She did, in fact, bring a gun down.”

Morrell said the gun was an automatic .32-caliber German Mauser pistol. She would not say how the gun was used in connection with the homicide.

Warf was found dead in an abandoned cement factory in Exeter, N.H., with her throat slit.

Sarah Desjardins, Aaron Desjardins’ wife, is alleged to have sent the text, according to court documents.

Morrell said Corson and Sarah Desjardins are both charged with conspiracy to commit murder and might not be tried together. Whether the cases will be consolidated for trial will be up to the judge, she said.

Aaron Desjardins has denied that he killed Warf.

Corson was arrested at her home on Water Street, Skowhegan, April 18.

She waived a probable cause hearing in May, pending the grand jury indictments, and remains held without bail at the Strafford County House of Corrections in Dover, N.H.

The court has entered an automatic plea of not guilty on Corson’s behalf, Morrell said. Her trial will be held at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but is a determination by the grand jury that enough evidence is present to proceed with a trial.

Morrell said the charge of accomplice to first degree murder in New Hampshire is the same as murder and carries the same penalty — life without parole.

The charge of conspiracy to commit murder carries a sentence of 15-30 years in prison. The charge of conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Corson’s court-appointed attorney, Andrew Cotrupi, of Hampton, N.H., did not return a call last week for comment on the case.

In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader two days before his arrest, Desjardins said he was at home with his wife, his sister, Michele Corson, and his young son when the body was found.

Warf is the mother of the young boy.

A status hearing on Corson’s case has been set for Dec. 6, when a schedule for trial dates will be discussed, Morrell said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 dharlow@centralmaine.com Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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