DOVER - During opening statements in the Tristan Wolusky murder trial Tuesday, prosecutor Stacey Kaelin held up a machete and two knives, pointed to the defendant, and said he masterminded the plan to rob a Madbury teen for drugs and money last year.
Wolusky, 19, who was living with his grandparents in Rochester at the time of Aaron Wilkinson's killing, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder. Even his own private defense attorneys do not dispute Woluksy went to Aaron Wilkinson's Madbury home with the intent of stealing drugs and money.
But Wolusky is claiming that after he lured Wilkinson, 18, out of his house in the early morning hours of June 21, 2014, his two co-conspirators used the knives and machete to brutally stab Wilkinson to death.
Kaelin showed the jurors a diagram of stab wounds Wilkinson suffered during his killing. He was stabbed 13 times in the back, three times to the back of the skull, and in the jugular. There were a total of 22 stab wounds on his corpse.
Kaelin said Wilkinson was "an easy source of money" to Wolusky. The young men knew each other through playing sports, and Wilkinson dealt Wolusky marijuana.
She added that Wolusky was the only person who knew Wilkinson and the two co-conspirators of the crime, Zachary Pinette, 20, of Springvale, Maine, and Michael Tatum, 22, of Barrington.
After the grisly killing, where the trio only got away with $27 and a cell phone, Wilkinson's body was transported to Lebanon, Maine, where it was dumped along a rural road. A woman found it while walking her dog later on in the day.
Defense: Don't trust a rat
Wolusky's private attorneys have a different story. They say it was Pinette and Tatum who turned on Wilkinson when he did not have any stashes of drugs or money. Attorney Mark Sisti claims his client was surprised when Pinette and Tatum began to attack Wilkinson.
"He thought they were going to rob him, and then, all of a sudden, two men with a machete began hacking away," Sisti said.
Sisti says the Attorney General's Office has a weak case against his client. There is no medical or scientific evidence, and no confession, he said.
Sisti warned the jury against believing what Pinette and Tatum tell them, saying they are two weasels who "got off the track." He said they ran to the Attorney General's Office with their stories, which have changed multiple times, to get a plea deal, after the killing.
Both Pinette and Tatum are serving 30 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. They are star witnesses for the state.
"Be very, very careful when a prosecutor's case is based upon the word of an informant, a rat," Sisti said.
On Tuesday afternoon, jurors were shown a video taken at 36 Evans Road in Madbury, Wilkinson's home, the day after his killing. Large dark red stains of blood, and drag marks, were clearly visible.
The trial is expected to resume on Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.