Did Windham, Maine man, Noah Gaston intentionally gun down wife, Alicia Gaston? Trial begins with husband saying he mistook woman for intruder.
A Maine man on trial for shooting his wife dead has told a jury that he mistook the mother of three for an intruder according to a 911 recording introduced in court.
As Noah Gaston, 36, claimed his case on Monday, jurors were asked to listen to the January 2016 recorded call the husband at the time made to emergency dispatchers upon ‘realizing’ erroneously shooting dead his wife, Alicia Gaston, 34 at their Windham home.
The incident led to the wife dying from a single shotgun blast in a stairwell after she was shot in the stomach, the Portland Press Herald reports.
‘I just shot my wife in the stomach,’ Gaston told a dispatcher. ‘I thought she was an intruder.’
Gaston, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges, made the claims of mistaken identity during the beginning of his trial Monday as he heard himself follow a dispatcher’s instructions to give his wife chest
Noah Gaston cried during opening statements while both sides were detailing the shooting and killing of his wife, Alicia, Monday morning in Superior Court. #NEWSCENTERmaine More info: https://t.co/2cpKJEDDZr pic.twitter.com/dYDStVRyas
— Clay Gordon (@ClayGordonNews) February 11, 2019
The jury has been sent home for the day in the trial of Noah Gaston, judge cited a “not foreseen issue.”
Expected to resume tomorrow. Gaston says he accidentally shot and killed his wife, Alicia, back in 2016. Prosecutors are trying to prove that it was knowing or intentional. pic.twitter.com/eHnzKyjeiF
— Joe Glauber (@JoeGlauberWMTW) February 12, 2019
Noah Gaston trial: Prosecution says it was almost certain wife would die from close range
Opening statements and testimony by Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam, included the claim Gaston having intending to purposely cause his wife’s death, saying it was ‘practically certain’ she would die from a shotgun blast at such close range.
‘He saw in the illuminated bedroom that she wasn’t in the bed,’ Elam said. ‘He didn’t hear walkie-talkies or multiple intruders. He saw her as she entered the stairway, and he saw her when she was no more than 18 inches from the muzzle of his shotgun. This was a killing without justification.’
Gaston’s defense attorney, Rob Andrews countered- saying his client was merely ‘defending his family’ from an assumed intruder.
‘He made a terrible mistake,’ Andrews said. ‘He caused a terrible accident, and there is no way that this is anything other than a tragedy. But it’s not a crime.’
Noah Gaston trial: How forensic evidence and testimony will play a part in jury verdict.
Gaston told police he awoke on the morning of the shooting to what sounded like walkie-talkies downstairs, prompting him to check on the couple’s three children before grabbing the shotgun to check for a possible intruder, the Bangor Daily News reports.
Prosecutors told of intending to introduce forensic evidence during Gaston’s trial showing inconsistencies in the defendant’s version of events, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Prosecutors also played a recording of a brief interview Gaston gave police after the shooting during which he initially said he was halfway up the stairs when he pulled the trigger. But he then quickly changed that account, saying Alicia Gaston was just a couple of stairs up from the bottom of the staircase, the newspaper reports.
‘When he entered the room, he had no emotion on his face, just a blank look,’ Windham Police Officer Justin Hudnor said.
Several witnesses also testified that Gaston didn’t ask about his wife’s condition as paramedics stopped efforts to revive her. He did, however, ask Hudnor about the severity of her wounds toward the end of their conversation.
Alicia Gaston’s sister, Heather Gilbert, also took the stand Monday, telling jurors how her sister homeschooled her three children and knitted scarves to make ends meet. Gilbert also testified that she paid for the family’s cellphone bills and noted that Noah Gaston had recently left a job and got poor prospects on a new position just prior to the shooting.
‘It is your opinion that they had a loving relationship,’ defense attorney James Mason asked Gilbert.
‘Yeah,’ she replied.
‘And that Noah Gaston loved Alicia?’ Mason continued.
‘I don’t know,’ Gilbert replied after a pause.