Murder trial jury shown security camera footage



ELLSWORTH — In day three of the trial of Bar Harbor murder defendant Jalique Keene, jurors saw footage from security cameras at various locations as the prosecution attempted to piece together the events of May 31-June 1 leading to the death of Mikaela Conley.

A grand jury indicted Keene, 22, on charges of murder and gross sexual assault in the June 1, 2018, slaying of Conley, 19, also of Bar Harbor. Keene has pleaded not guilty. The trial at Hancock County Superior Court is expected to take more than a week, defense attorney Jeffrey Toothaker said earlier this week. Justice Robert Murray is presiding.

Maine State Police Detective Thomas Pickering took the stand Thursday, answering questions posed by Assistant Attorney General John Alsop, the main prosecuting attorney. Pickering identified himself as the primary detective assigned to the case.

Using murder victim Conley’s financial records to trace her movements the night of May 31, Pickering said his team obtained security camera footage from at a New Hampshire State Liquor Store on I-95 where Keene was seen buying a bottle of Jose Cuervo. Security camera footage from a Circle K gas station in Holden showed Keene and Conley entering a restroom facility.

Pickering described Keene’s appearance based on clothing, shoes and an identifiable tattoo: a band around his left arm.

Security camera footage from Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor obtained by Pickering showed different angles of the early morning events of June 1.

The jury was shown two people who appeared to be Conley and Keene walking up the ramp from Eden Street at 2:17 a.m. Conley was wearing a jacket that hung below her waist, Pickering noted. Keene, identified by his tattoo, was holding a paper bag and a can.

Snapchat video records from Conley’s phone showed Keene on the school’s playground equipment at 2:20 and 2:23 a.m.

About an hour later, at 3:32 a.m., an infrared camera showed a human figure sitting. The figure appeared to be Conley, Pickering said, based on the jacket. Another person appearing to be Keene approached, and Conley stood up and pushed him backwards. Keene then appeared to bend down over her as she lay on the ground. At 3:36 footage appeared to show Keene picking up Conley and carrying her toward the playground.

A different camera showed an unidentifiable human figure walking down the ramp at 3:45 a.m. Approximately six minutes later, a different camera picked up a male who appeared to be Keene, identified by his clothes and tattoo, entering the playground area once again through an opening in the fence around the perimeter of the playground.

Finally, jurors viewed footage from 7:05 a.m. showing Keene dragging what appeared to be the lifeless body of Conley, with the jacket above her torso over her shoulders. At 7:32 a.m. Keene he was seen on camera washing his shoes, legs, and arms, in a water spigot behind the building.

In a cross examination with defense lawyer Jeffrey Toothaker, Pickering detailed how he walked with Keene around the playground, through Bar Harbor, and to the Shore Path, which was a 20-minute walk from the school.

Pickering said he had walked the perimeter of the fence and applied Bluestar forensic blood detecting agent to some areas. One area in the trees behind the fence tested positive. In response to questions posed by Toothaker, Pickering said it was not conclusive that the Bluestar was reacting to human blood.

Becky Pritchard
Becky Pritchard covers the town of Bar Harbor, where she lives with her family and intrepid news-dog Joe-Joe. She worked six seasons as a park ranger in Acadia, and still enjoys spending her spare time there.

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