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Oct 15, 2015 5:39 PM

Jury deliberations begin in month-long murder trial against Tristan Wolusky


DOVER - After weeks of testimony, the jury deciding the fate of alleged killer Tristan Wolusky entered deliberations on Thursday afternoon.

Closing arguments were presented in the morning, and it took a judge several hours to explain the deliberating process before the decision was handed over to the jury just after 3:00 p.m.

Wolusky, 19, faces first- and second-degree murder charges for the 2014 murder of Aaron Wilkinson of Madbury.

State prosecutors focused their closing arguments regarding Wolusky's involvement in the killing, including his alleged use of a large knife which Wolusky testified he carried regularly.

“He did not just happen to have it," argued Asst. Attorney General Peter Hinckley. "He brought it with him with a purpose to use it in the robbery.”

For most of the day, Wolusky - wearing a red, plaid shirt - kept his head looking down while his defense attorney painted the picture of the crime scene.

“Tristan had Aaron down on his belly, and he was on his back," said Defense Attorney Mark Sisti. "He quickly got up, and got out of the way because he didn’t want to get hit with the machete.”

Sisti told the jury that Wolusky's co-defendants, Michael Tatum and Zachary Pinette, were the ones who attacked Wilkinson with weapons - including two knives and a machete.

“He’s no angel," Sisti said. "He’s also no murderer.”

Sisti argued that Wolusky went to Wilkinson's home in a plot to rob the teen over drugs and money. But when things started to go wrong, Sisti said Wolusky got out of the way while the others stabbed Wilkinson nearly two dozen times.

"It was a group effort. The defendant certainly was not stopping it, and he certainly wasn't just watching," Hinckley later responded. “He was holding Aaron down, preventing Aaron from leaving. Preventing Aaron from escaping to safety. Preventing Aaron from living.”

Defense attorneys told the jury that Tatum and Pinette lied during their testimony in order to get a better plea deal with the state, but Hinckley said it was Wolusky who was "shifting lies to fix the facts" about what really happened.

Under an agreement with the state in exchange for testimony, Tatum and Pinette entered guilty pleas to second-degree murder and will likely face a sentence of 30 years following the conclusion of the Wolusky trial.

“There is only one killer at this point who is truly motivated by liberty," Hinckley said. “All of that the defendant chose to do. All of that he is responsible for. All of that he is guilty.”

Deliberations are scheduled to continue on Monday morning.


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