Crime Scene Photos, Suspect’s Voice at Center of Murder Trial

Thursday was the second day of the Vermont trial of Allen Prue, who is accused of murdering St. Johnsbury Academy teacher Melissa Jenkins in 2012.

Jurors in a Burlington, Vermont, courtroom were presented with crime scene photographs and audio recordings of the man accused along with his wife to have abducted and killed a high-school science teacher Thursday, the second day of his trial.

Allen Prue is charged with abducting and killing St. Johnsbury Academy science teacher Melissa Jenkins in March of 2012.

Police and prosecutors have accused Prue of hatching the plot with his wife, Patricia, who will be tried separately. Authorities say the Prues tricked Jenkins with a bogus story of a broken-down car, then took her because they wanted "a girl to have fun with." Allen Prue's defense said Patricia Prue strangled Jenkins in a jealous rage. Patricia Prue's legal team plans to use an insanity defense, according to the Associated Press.

Vermont State Police Capt. J.P. Sinclair showed jurors crime scene photos, including images of a lost woman's shoe, from the location where Jenkins' abandoned car had been found. That location showed signs of a struggle, police investigators testified.

Sinclair also showed photos of the location in the Connecticut River where Jenkins' body was found, covered in branches and weighed down with a cinder block.

Earlier, prosecutors played an audio file another officer with the Vermont State Police, Jason Letourneau, recorded before Allen Prue was formally arrested. On the recording, Prue said he was Jenkins' former snowplow contractor, but claimed to not even know her last name.

"I'm just a little concerned what this is about," Allen Prue told the officer on the recording played for the jury. "Like I said, I didn't really know her last name ... All I knew her -- as Melissa."

Prue's own mother, Donna, took the stand, answering questions from the prosecutor about how her son told her his wife liked three-way sex. In Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren's opening statement to the jury Wednesday, she said the Prues were "looking for a girl" to "have fun with" the night Jenkins was abducted.

"He said they were suspects," Donna Prue testified, recalling a conversation with her son Allen. "I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'There's a lady missing in St. Jay,' and he said, 'I guess we're suspects.'"

Late Thursday, prosecutors started playing seven hours of audio from Allen Prue's interrogation. That will continue Friday.

Allen Prue's defense attorney, Bob Katims, maintains that his client is innocent. In his opening statement to the jury Wednesday, Katims described Allen Prue as the pawn of a "deeply disturbed" and manipulative wife, insisting that Patricia Prue was the mastermind of the crime and the true killer of Melissa Jenkins.

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