The Associated Press
HOULTON — A jury has been seated after three days of questioning more than 100 potential jurors for the trial of a Maine man accused of killing two men and a 10-year-old boy in Aroostook County.
After completing jury selection today, Justice E. Allen Hunter denied a defense motion to move the trial. Opening statements were expected later in the day.
Thayne Ormsby, 21, has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing deaths of 55-year-old Jeffrey Ryan, Ryan's son Jesse, and 30-year-old Jason Dehahn. Prosecutors contend that Ormsby was sane when he killed the three at Ryan's home in Amity, a small town on the Canadian border.
Opening statements are expected this afternoon in Aroostook County Superior Court.
Amity residents are ready for the trial so they can put the dark chapter behind them, said Larry Hamilton, 54, of Amity. Since the killings, Hamilton has locked his doors at night and kept a handgun by his side when he's at home.
As for Ormsby's insanity plea, townspeople aren't buying it, he said.
"He's got no soul because normal people don't do things like that," Hamilton said. "He's not sick, he planned it all out and did it intentionally. He planned it out methodically."
Amity is a quiet farming and logging town with about 200 residents and not a single store, gas station or traffic light. The tranquility was shattered on June 22, 2010, the day prosecutors say Ormsby showed up at Ryan's house on Route 1, killing the three with a combat-style knife. He's also charged with arson for allegedly stealing Ryan's pickup truck and setting it on fire on a back road.
The bodies were discovered the next night by Dehahn's father and brother, who had gone looking for him after he failed to return home. Ormsby was arrested the next week in New Hampshire.
After his arrest, Ormsby told investigators he killed Ryan because he thought Ryan was a drug dealer, according to a police affidavit.
But not long after the killings, a man he was living with said Ormsby told him that he went to Ryan's home to confront him after Ormsby's father allegedly told him Ryan owed him $10,000 in a drug debt. Dehahn's brother suggested a third theory: Ormsby was angry because Jeffrey Ryan didn't want him moving in with Ryan's 16-year-old daughter and the girl's mother in the town of Weston.
The hot button that gets people most worked up was Jesse Ryan's death, said Alicia Silkey, the town clerk in the nearby town Orient, where Ormsby was living with Robert and Joy Strout at the time of the killings. People sometimes wonder out loud at the terror the boy must have felt in his last moments of life, said Silkey, who knew all the victims.
"People were so horrified by it," Silkey said. "With the trial coming, it's like they're reliving the whole thing over again."Tweet
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