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Michael Tatum

Oct 1, 2015 9:04 PM

Murder trial: Tatum combative during cross; Pinette takes witness stand


DOVER - Admitted murderer Michael Tatum proved difficult to cross-examine Thursday at Strafford County Superior Court.

Tatum was testifying for the state, against former friend Tristan Wolusky, who is accused of first-degree murder. The state says Wolusky, Tatum, and a Maine man named Zachary Pinette, drove to a Madbury home on June 21, 2014, to rob Aaron Wilkinson of drugs and money.

When they realized Wilkinson did not have a stash, they turned on him. Wilkinson died of 22 stab wounds, including blows to the skull, back, arms and legs.

Tatum told Wolusky's attorney, Mark Sisti, that he could not even remember which knife he used during the attack.

"I had one," Tatum said.

"You had at least one?" Sisti asked.

"One," Tatum replied.

"Which one? They're completely different," Sisti asked, holding up the two knives used.

"Yeah, but I'm not going to remember which one exactly that I'm going to have," Tatum said.

"Well, where did you keep it?" Sisti continued.

"In my pocket," Tatum said.

"Which one of these did you keep in your pocket?" Sisti asked.

"I don't remember," Tatum exclaimed.

When Sisti pointed out how different the two large knives used during the killing are, Tatum struck back.

"Yeah, that's like remembering what kind of socks you wore a month ago," he said.

Sisti turned around and asked, "Is that your answer for this jury?"

Sisti was obviously frustrated. During his re-cross examination, he started by asking Tatum if there is any doubt in his mind that he is a murderer. Tatum replied there isn't.

Pinette also took the witness stand Thursday. Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley asked him why it took him so long to admit he used a machete during Wilkinson's killing.

"I was ashamed to admit it," Pinette replied. He said he was worried that it would upset his mother.

Pinette will re-take the witness stand Friday morning.

You can follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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