November 14, 2013

State Police investigate homicide in Augusta

Jillian Jones, 24, is dead and Justin Pillsbury, 38, is being treated at the local hospital for what appear to be self-inflicted stab wounds, police said.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

And Craig Crosby

AUGUSTA — A woman was stabbed to death in what police have called a homicide Wednesday night at an apartment on Crosby Street.

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Investigators continue work at the scene of a suspicious death on Thursday at 32 Crosby St. in Augusta

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

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Investigators haven’t charged anyone yet and have stopped short of calling her boyfriend a suspect, even though he is hospitalized with apparently self-inflicted stab wounds and police say only the man and the woman were involved.

Jillian Jones, 24, was found stabbed to death inside the 32 Crosby St. apartment where she lived with boyfriend Justin Pillsbury, 38, who is in stable condition at MaineGeneral Medical Center, said Sgt. Jason Richards, of the Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Police plan to interview Pillsbury when his condition improves. Police aren’t seeking suspects in the case and there is no threat to the public, Richards said.

“We certainly hope to talk to him to see if he was involved in this,” said Lt. Christopher Coleman, head of the Major Crimes Unit for Maine’s northern region, at the scene early Thursday morning.

Police also wouldn’t say whether Pillsbury and Jones were arguing that night, but neighbor Beth Morelend said she heard the couple arguing hours before the incident, which occurred in the last house on a quiet dead-end street.

“She was crying,” Morelend said. “He wanted her to leave. She wanted her stuff and he laughed it off and said, ‘You have to go.’ ”

Morelend said she didn’t think police presence was necessary, saying she deemed it a quarrel between “a girlfriend who didn’t want to break up and a guy who didn’t care.”

The stabbing was reported by a friend of Pillsbury’s who was around the house at the time of the incident, according to state police. When police and firefighters got to the scene shortly after 8 p.m., Richards said, nobody else was in the home besides Jones and Pillsbury. However, Richards wouldn’t say whether anyone else had been there earlier in the night.

Deputy Chief Jared Mills of the Augusta Police Department said when first responders arrived, the woman was found dead and the man critically injured, leading city police to call state police for help.

Neighbor Marie Allen said she had returned home a short time before then and was doing dishes when police and rescue arrived.

“We were surrounded by police, ambulances and firetrucks,” Allen said.

An activity log released by Augusta police indicates dispatchers answered the initial 911 call at 8:08 p.m. Mills said callers reported two victims, one of whom was dead. Police arrived two minutes later, and the first fire and rescue trucks three minutes after that. Pillsbury was loaded into an ambulance and on his way to the hospital by 8:18 p.m. He arrived seven minutes later.

Police investigated throughout the night, speaking to a number of neighbors during the process. Allen said Jones’ body was removed from the apartment around 7 a.m. Thursday. Richards said the autopsy was conducted later in the day, showing she had died of stab wounds, but he wouldn’t say how many or where she was stabbed.

Pillsbury has a minor history in Augusta District Court. In 2004, his then-girlfriend, Amerika Stewart, of Dexter, who is the mother of his two children, obtained a protection-from-abuse order after an incident in which she said he had choked her. The order was lifted a few months later.

Reached Thursday, Stewart said the two children are now 12 and 14 and are staying with Pillsbury’s mother in Benton.

Her 15-year relationship with Pillsbury was occasionally violent, she said. He sometimes hit her and she sometimes hit him, she said.

She applied for the order in May 2004 and it was lifted the next year, but Stewart said the two were together the whole time and all in all, he was “a good man.”

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Augusta Police Officers secure apartment six at 32 Crosby Street in Augusta after a deceased woman was discovered inside the first floor unit just after 8 p.m. A man also inside the apartment was transported to the hospital with injuries, police said. State Police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit took charge of the investigation that authorities characterized as a suspicious death. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Margaret Greenwald arrived at midnight to determine a cause of death, according to authorities.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

Augusta and State Police Detectives confer Wednesday evening outside of an apartment at 32 Crosby Street in Augusta after a deceased woman was discovered inside the first floor unit just after 8 p.m. A man also inside the apartment was transported to the hospital with injuries, police said. State Police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit took charge of the investigation that authorities characterized as a suspicious death. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Margaret Greenwald arrived at midnight to determine a cause of death, according to authorities.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

Augusta Police patrolmen Sgt. Vincente Morris, left, Officer Carly Smith and Officer Laura Drouin confer Wednesday evening outside of an apartment at 32 Crosby Street in Augusta after a deceased woman was discovered inside the first floor unit just after 8 p.m. A man also found inside the apartment was transported to the hospital with injuries, police said. State Police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit took charge of the investigation that authorities characterized as a suspicious death. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Margaret Greenwald arrived at midnight to determine a cause of death, according to authorities.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

Investigators continue to work at the scene of a suspicious death on Thursday at 32 Crosby St. in Augusta

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

Investigators continue to work at the scene of a suspicious death on Thursday at 32 Crosby St. in Augusta

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

Jillian Jones

Kennebec Journal file photo



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