SKOWHEGAN — Guy E. Hunnewell III, 27, had nothing to say Wednesday morning during his appearance on a murder charge in Skowhegan District Court.
Dressed in prison blues and flip-flops, Hunnewell barely glanced at the courtroom spectators, mostly reporters, and whispered only once to his attorney. During the walk from Somerset County jail to the courthouse, the handcuffed man accused of murder neither tried to hide his face nor turned away from a dozen cameras.
Hunnewell is accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death at his Fairfield apartment either late Monday or early Tuesday morning. The victim, Stephanie Gilliland, 20, of Benton, was found Tuesday afternoon in Hunnewell’s apartment, dressed only in her underwear, with at least 15 stab wounds.
An autopsy was conducted Wednesday afternoon by the state Medical Examiner’s Office. A spokeswoman said that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds. She would not release information about whether the victim had been sexually assaulted.
Gilliland, a 1996 graduate of Lawrence High School in Fairfield, was described by co-workers and friends as outgoing and friendly.
“She was just a great kid,” said one Lawrence teacher, during a telephone interview. The teacher refused to be identified.
Gilliland and Hunnewell were co-workers, and both had failed to show up at work Tuesday morning at a Main Street pizza shop in Fairfield. Alarmed at Gilliland’s disappearance, which they told police was out of character, family and friends had been searching for her, according to an affidavit and police.
Hunnewell, described by co-workers and police as an extremely jealous man, had threatened Gilliland in the past and had reportedly beaten a Fairfield man whom she had befriended. Assault charges are pending against him in Somerset County, according to state police Detective Michael Mitchell.
Hunnewell also had told co-workers that he had obtained a shotgun and was going to buy a second gun, a handgun, to kill someone he believed was dating Gilliland, according to the affidavit.
Knowing this background, three friends went to Hunnewell’s apartment looking for Gilliland and discovered her bloody body lying on the floor.
Within an hour, Hunnewell was apprehended by police at the Comfort Inn in Augusta where he had driven Gilliland’s car, checked in at 12:28 a.m. Tuesday and registered under his own name.
He appeared Wednesday morning before Judge William Anderson, who said there was probable cause to hold Hunnewell without bail on a charge of murder until a bail hearing at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 5. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchesi said after Hunnewell’s hearing that the state will attempt to block any request for bail for the murder suspect.
Hunnewell was represented by Norridgewock attorney John Alsop, who said after the hearing that he had been able to speak to his client for only a few minutes before the hearing. He would not discuss their conversation.
The affidavit filed with the court by Marchesi and Mitchell, however, told a grisly story.
One of Gilliland’s friends, Amber Lewis, received a call Tuesday morning from Mary Gilliland, the victim’s mother, saying that the mother had not been able to locate Stephanie and asking Lewis to help find her. Lewis, who told police she and the victim were “inseparable,” had made plans to go out together the night before. Gilliland never showed up. She also told police that she had seen Gilliland’s purple 1995 Pontiac Sunbird parked in the driveway of Hunnewell’s apartment house about 9 p.m. Monday.
When Lewis, her brother Brandon and another friend, Donald Stillman, returned to Hunnewell’s street two hours later, the car was gone.
The affidavit stated that Lewis and the two men went to Hunnewell’s apartment about 2 p.m. the next day, Tuesday, looking for Gilliland. Stillman told state police detectives that the apartment door was closed but not locked. He opened the door and yelled to see if anyone was in the apartment.
“He then opened the door approximately one foot and the door could not be opened any further,” the affidavit stated. Stillman noticed red water near the sink, and when he forced his head inside the door, he discovered Gilliland’s body on the floor, covered in blood. The Lewises left and called police while Stillman remained at the apartment.
A cursory examination made Tuesday night by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Margaret Greenwald at the murder scene revealed that Gilliland had 10 to 15 stab wounds, with a large number in her back.
Police, meanwhile, discovered Hunnewell at the Comfort Inn in Augusta. Detectives called Hunnewell’s motel room and asked him to come outside, which he did, and he was arrested without incident. The affidavit affirms that state police Detective Scott Nichols observed what appeared to be bloodstains on Hunnewell’s coat and underwear. There were also scrapes and dig marks on his left shoulder blade and right upper arm.
Hunnewell sat impassive during the brief hearing Wednesday morning. He did not acknowledge his father, Guy Hunnewell Jr., who sat in the courtroom. Outside, Hunnewell Jr. said he had not been able to speak to his son since the arrest and was unaware of any violence between the young couple.