Prosecutors played hours of recordings of a March, 2012 interrogation Friday, during day three of the murder trial of Allen Prue of Waterford, Vermont.
Prue, along with his wife, Patricia, is accused of kidnapping Melissa Jenkins, then strangling and beating her to death. The couple allegedly had developed a sexual fascination with Jenkins.
Jenkins was a popular science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy, and a devoted mom to a toddler son. Her family and friends have been traveling from Vermont's Northeast Kingdom to Burlington for the trial. It is being held in Chittenden County instead of Caledonia County, because the court wanted to find jurors who were less likely to have a connection to the case.
"If I could bring her back, I would," Allen Prue said at one point on the recordings, which were peppered with expletives.
On the recordings played for jurors, Vermont State Police detectives made small talk with Allen Prue for a few hours before reading him his Miranda rights.
The detectives and Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren say the recordings form an unmistakeable confession. "I got her on the ground doing that... strangling her," Allen Prue said in the recording played for jurors. "Because of me, her baby don't have a mother no more."
Prue told officers how he squeezed the life out of Jenkins, stripped her down, then placed her body in a dam on the Connecticut River, tied to a cinder block the jury saw Thursday.
Prue even took investigators on a tour of his travels the night of the abduction, telling the officers at one point he drove right past the St. Johnsbury barracks of the Vermont State Police, a revelation that seemed to surprise the detectives. "I was nervous as all hell," Allen Prue said during that section of the recordings.
Repeatedly on the tapes, the murder suspect said he didn't feel like himself the night of the killing; that he was in a fog, and was afraid of going to prison. He often said he could not remember details of that night.
During that tour, by the river, Prue even addressed Melissa Jenkins. "I'm terribly sorry, Melissa," Prue said, tearfully. "I didn't mean to do this to you."
There is still more than an hour of audio from the March 2012 interrogation that jurors will resume hearing on Monday when the trial continues.
Defense attorney Bob Katims previously told the jury this confession was coerced; that savvy detectives outwitted a suspect with a low IQ. In his opening statement to the jury, Katims said Allen Prue only admitted to the crime to take the heat off the real mastermind and killer: his wife, Patricia. She'll be tried separately, and plans to use an insanity defense, the Associated Press reported.