Sep 30, 2015 6:29 PM
DOVER - One of Tristan Wolusky's co-conspirators said on Wednesday that he helped stab Aaron Wilkinson to death after the Madbury teen told him he didn't have a stash of drugs or money.
"I pulled out one of the knives and held it to his throat and told him if he didn't give it up, he'd get hurt," Michael Tatum, of Barrington, told the jury about the moments before Wilkinson was killed on June 21, 2014.
Tatum said he, Wolusky and a Maine man named Zachary Pinette went to Wilkinson's house after drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana. They had previously planned to rob Wilkinson, who Tatum purchased pot from on a regular basis, because they believed he had drugs and money on hand.
Tatum described how Wolusky lured Wilkinson outside, saying he had car troubles and needed help. Tatum and Pinette hid under the porch, and then crept up on them as they headed toward Pinette's car.
Things started to escalate when Pinette got upset about Wolusky and Wilkinson going through his vehicle. He got mad, and slapped the roof.
Wolusky pretended he didn't know who Tatum and Pinette were, Tatum testified. When he realized things were not going as planned, he sent Wolusky a text message, trying to bail out.
"I was worried," Tatum told prosecutor Stacey Kaelin.
Then, an argument broke out, Tatum said, and Wolusky tackled Wilkinson and held him on the ground. Wilkinson jumped up, trying to fight back, but was "taken back down quickly."
Tatum said Wilkinson was able to escape from the trio's grips a second time.
"And I stabbed him," Tatum said.
While Wilkinson was face-down on the ground, he was stabbed in the back, skull and arms. Pinette hit him in the legs with a machete, Tatum said.
Tatum said he directly observed Wolusky stabbing Wilkinson, a friend he played sports with, after he went to Pinette's car and popped the trunk.
Kaelin asked Tatum if Wilkinson said anything as he died. He said the beloved teenager made a small yell, and mumbled.
Then, Tatum said, Wilkinson told the trio, "I'm f***ked. I'm sorry. What did I do wrong?"
Wilkinson's parents did not listen to Tatum's testimony about the killing, but other family members and friends in the courtroom cried.
Tatum said that after Wilkinson died, the trio put his body in the trunk, and drove it to Maine, where it was dumped along a rural road. Tatum took Wilkinson's cell phone, broke it, and threw it off a bridge.
Tatum, who is only 22-years-old, will serve 30 years to life in prison, he said. In exchange for a plea deal, he agreed to tell the truth at Wolusky's trial.
"What I did was wrong," Tatum told Kaelin.
Defense attorney Mark Sisti began his cross-examination of Tatum before the end of the court day. It is expected that he will re-take the witness stand Thursday morning.
Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.
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