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Jury selection starting in double-killing trial in Maine

October 4, 2021 GMT

SOUTH PARIS, Maine (AP) — Jury selection gets underway Monday in the trial of a man accused of a double killing on New Year’s night in 2019.

Mark Penley, 51, of Peru, is being tried on two counts of murder in the killing of his ex-girlfriend, Heather Bickford, 31, of Canton, and her boyfriend, Dana Hill, 31, at Hill’s apartment in Paris.

The first part of jury selection Monday was the distribution of questionnaires in Oxford County Superior Court, followed by questioning of potential jurors Tuesday, officials said. The hope was to have a jury seated by Wednesday.

Penley told a 911 dispatcher that he went to the home to visit his children when he discovered the bodies. Bickford’s infant and her 8-year-old were unharmed, with Penley, when police arrived.

Police say they found a bloody baseball bat at the scene, but the autopsy confirms the fatal wounds were gunshots. An autopsy revealed Bickford was shot five times and Hill three times.