AUBURN – Jurors convicted both defendants Monday in the fatal beatings of two men who were bludgeoned with a baseball bat and buried in shallow graves.
The jury deliberated for several hours Friday afternoon and for another 90 minutes Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court before finding Tommy Dyer, 21, and Gary Gauthier Jr., 25, both of Auburn, guilty of murder.
Dyer and Gauthier were charged last year after the bodies of James Vining, 43, and John Graffam, 30, both of Auburn, were located by deer hunters Oct. 29, 2005, near abandoned railroad tracks in Lewiston.
Investigators linked the defendants to the victims through DNA and blood found on clothing, a baseball bat, beer cans and cigarette butts.
Outside the courtroom, a tearful Kim Gauthier insisted her husband was innocent. “Things aren’t what they seem,” she said.
But Vining’s girlfriend said the jury did the right thing. “They should be off the street,” Alice Keene said of the defendants.
Police said there was bad blood stemming from a confrontation Dyer and Gauthier had with Graffam in the Androscoggin County Jail.
On the night of Sept. 23, 2005, Gauthier lured Vining and Graffam to a wooded area and became enraged after Vining boasted that he had served in the Marines, Dyer testified. Dyer tried to portray himself as an unwilling participant, pointing the finger at Gauthier.
Dyer said Gauthier hid a baseball bat that he used to beat the men after luring them into the woods. After attacking them, Gauthier threatened Dyer if he didn’t join in the attack, saying, “I’ll kill you, too,” Dyer testified.
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said both men were together during the attack and that both lied to police about what happened. Both participated in burying the bodies after making a trip to Wal-Mart to buy shovels, she said.